Grassley praises passage of bill to create alert for threats targeting police

Police BadgeFrom Press Release


Friday, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded the Senate’s passage of a measure that helps law enforcement agencies apprehend criminals who have injured or killed police officers.

The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act also creates a nationwide system, known as a Blue Alert, to notify law enforcement agencies when a credible threat is made against members of the law enforcement community. Grassley shepherded the legislation through the Judiciary Committee in March. The Senate passed the legislation Thursday by voice vote.

“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. As we’ve seen recently, they often face the threat of violence simply because they wear a badge. This legislation expands assistance to help catch criminals who target police and helps agencies across the nation coordinate efforts to defend against future threats directly targeted at law enforcement.  I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues in the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate to advance this effort to help protect the men and women who protect and serve communities across America,” Grassley said.

Grassley is an original cosponsor of the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act, which was introduced by Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. This legislation would:
• provide assistance to state and local governments that are using Blue Alert plans;
• establish voluntary guidelines for states and local governments to use in developing such plans;
• develop protocols for efforts to apprehend suspects, including the use of public safety communications and command center operations;
• work with states to ensure appropriate regional coordination of the network;
• establish an advisory group to assist all entities involved in the network with the facilitation, promotion, and implementation of Blue Alert plans;
• act as the nationwide point of contact for the development of the network and the regional coordination of Blue Alerts through the network;
• determine what procedures and practices are in use for notifying law enforcement and the public of Blue Alerts, and which of the procedures and practices are effective and do not require the expenditure of additional resources to implement;
• establish guidelines that provide mechanisms to ensure that Blue Alerts comply with all applicable privacy laws and regulations; and
• direct the Coordinator to submit an annual report to Congress on the Coordinator’s activities and the effectiveness and status of the Blue Alert plans that are in effect or being developed.

The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act is supported by the National Association of Police Organizations, the Sergeants Benevolent Association of the New York City Police Department and Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police.