Public Safety & Homeland Security

Missouri Joins 27 Other States With 'Blue Alert' System for Violence Against Police

The changes come partially in response to the unrest in Ferguson following the police shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in 2014.

by Kurt Erickson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch / July 7, 2017
Shutterstock

(TNS) - Missouri will soon have a system to notify the general public when a law enforcement officer is killed or injured.

Patterned after the Amber Alert system for missing children, the so-called “Blue Alert” law was approved Thursday by Gov. Eric Greitens, who had championed the idea.

The measure was part of a package of crime-related changes to state law approved by members of the House and Senate in May.

In addition to the Blue Alert plan, the new law creates the crime of illegal reentry. If a person is deported from the United States for committing a crime and then returns and commits a felony, they also would be guilty of illegal reentry in Missouri.

The offense would be a class C felony, punishable by three to seven years.

The measure also adds museums that cater to children under 18 to the list of public places where sex offenders are banned.

The Blue Alert provisions are designed to promote public safety and protect police officers. When it goes into effect, Missouri will be the 28th state to adopt the program, according to U.S. Department of Justice figures.

The measure also enhances the penalties for assaults on law enforcement officers.

"We must stand up for those who stand guard for us," Greitens said in a release

The changes come partially in response to the unrest in Ferguson following the police shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in 2014.

The legislation is Senate Bill 34.

———

©2017 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Visit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at www.stltoday.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.