The purpose of the Blue Alert Notice System, as documented in NDCC 54.12.32, is to establish a quick response and notice that is issued after an individual has threatened a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, used a deadly weapon against a law enforcement officer, caused a law enforcement officer to suffer serious bodily injury or death, or the officer has been abducted or is missing while on duty, and the individual has left the scene of the offense.
The Blue Alert network provides the means of quickly identifying, pursuing and capturing violent offenders who have hurt, killed or pose an imminent danger to law enforcement.
Blue Alert Activation Criteria
Upon the request of a law enforcement agency that is investigating an offense against a law enforcement officer, the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) activates a blue alert public notice to aid in the apprehension of an individual who is a suspect in an offense if:
- An individual has threatened a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, has used a deadly weapon against a law enforcement officer, has caused a law enforcement officer to suffer serious bodily injury or death, or the officer has been abducted or is missing while on duty;
- The individual has fled the scene of the offense and a description of the individual or the individual's vehicle is available for broadcast;
- The law enforcement agency investigating the offense has determined the individual poses a threat to the public or other law enforcement personnel; and
- Dissemination of available information to the public may help avert further harm or assist in the apprehension of the suspect.
NDCC 54.12.32 identifies BCI as the activating agency for a Blue Alert, but BCI, “in cooperation with the highway patrol and the division of state radio of the department of emergency services, shall prepare an operational plan to prepare for and respond to requests for activation of a blue alert notice.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) added the Blue Alert to the nation's emergency alerting systems. With the creation of a dedicated Blue Alert event code in the Emergency Alert System, state and local law enforcement have the capability to push immediate warnings out to the public via broadcast, cable and satellite providers as well as to consumer smartphones through the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. Learn more about the WEA system.