BOISE — Law enforcement could soon have a new tool to help them find suspects who pose a danger to officers.
Legislation to create a “Blue Alert” system in Idaho will receive a formal hearing in the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee, the committee voted Wednesday afternoon.
The notification system, which works in a similar way to the Amber Alert system, would send out identifying information — such as license plate numbers — for the public to help locate suspects in situations where a law enforcement officer is killed, seriously injured, threatened with death or serious injury, or missing in the line of duty.
More than 30 states currently have some kind of Blue Alert system in place.
The system would be administered by Idaho State Police, ISP deputy director Lt. Col. Sheldon Kelley said.
Twin Falls County Sheriff Tom Carter said he sees a Blue Alert system as a “remarkable tool” for law enforcement.
“I don’t know how there could be a downside to this,” Carter said. “That would be another tool in a bag that would be unbelievably helpful if we had access to it.”
Carter said he couldn’t recall any specific situations where the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office could have used the alert system during his tenure as sheriff. But he referenced the 2006 case of ISP trooper Chris Glenn, who was shot and injured just south of Twin Falls when he pulled over a suspect in Twin Falls gas station robbery.
“The Blue Alert would have been a perfect fit for what that was,” Carter said.