Alert system for suspects in crimes against police
Gov. Martin O'Malley announced today that he was speeding up the implementation of an alert system to notify the public when police are searching for suspects in violent crimes against law enforcement officers. The move comes a few weeks after police spent days searching for suspects in the fatal shooting of off-duty trooper Wesley Brown in Prince George's County.
The so-called "Blue Alert" will "rapidly disseminate information" to assist in "locating and apprehending an offender suspected of killing or seriously injuring a law enforcement officer, whose disappearances [sic] poses a serious threat." It was sponsored by Del. Curt Anderson and was set to go into effect on Oct. 1, but O'Malley's executive order speeds up that timeframe to enact it immediately.
"We’ve dedicated every resource available to ensuring our officers have the equipment they need, the best available crime fighting tools, and the latest technology to keep Maryland families safe," O'Malley said in a statement. "This alert system will ensure that if any of our law enforcement officers are harmed, the fugitive will be captured swiftly and brought to justice.”
I'm interested to see how the system will be implemented. Personally, I've only seen an Amber Alert once - during the Olympics - and never a Silver Alert. And in the case of Brown's shooting, police disseminated information through the media about a person of interest but didn't have - or at least didn't release - a name of a suspect until he had been picked up. Perhaps the intended use is to help further spread the word that a reward is being offered.