During the week of Jan. 1-7 the Blue Alert Foundation will be sponsoring a National Blue Light For The Fallen campaign. The campaign encourages individuals to burn a blue light bulb either on their front porch or in their driveway to honor fallen police officers who were killed in the line of duty.
The National Blue Alert System started in Venice, Fla., and is now is 21 states. Indiana became the 17th state to implement a blue alert system on July 1, 2013. The system works similar to that of an amber alert when a child goes missing or a silver alert when a senior citizen goes missing. It is implemented to ensure an expedited process in the apprehension of individuals who have attacked, injured or killed law enforcement officers. There are four criteria that must be met in order to activate the blue alert system network:
1.) A law enforcement officer must have been killed or seriously injured by an offender
2.) The investigating law enforcement agency must determine that the offender poses a serious risk or threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel.
3.) A detailed description of the offender’s vehicle, vehicle tag or partial tag must be available for broadcast to the public.
4.) The investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction must recommend activation of the Blue Alert to the State Operations Center.
This week’s campaign will try to create a line of blue lights across America all the way to the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington, D.C., It is not strictly for officers who were intentionally harmed in the line of duty, but all those who lost their lives as a result of serving their community.
According to Chad Hill of the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, four officers have been killed in the county. Of the four, three were from the sheriff’s department while one was from the Indiana State Police. The most recent death was in 2009 when Sergeant Jeff Shaw tragically lost his life in a vehicular accident.
Those seeking further information are encouraged to visit bluealert.us.