You might've heard of "Amber Alerts," where freeway signs and
emergency broadcasts notify the public of abductions in hopes of
catching the suspect. Starting January 1, California will
also have a "Blue Alert" system - which does the same when a police
officer is killed or seriously injured.
The measure's supporters hope "Blue Alerts" will help law
enforcement track down dangerous criminals far more quickly than
Cottingham: "The idea behind
this is that we can get more eyes and ears out there looking for a
Ron Cottingham leads the umbrella organization that represents
all the police and sheriff's unions in the state. It's one of
many law enforcement groups that backed the bill.
Cottingham: "We believe that
anybody that is brazen enough, bold enough and dangerous enough
that they kill a police officer or severely injure a police officer
- then they are a direct danger to the public, because these are
people that do not want to get caught." (0:14)
In fact, Cottingham acknowledges a criminal who triggers a
"Blue Alert" is probably more dangerous than an "Amber Alert"
suspect, because of the nature of the crime. He stresses the
alert system is never designed for the public to intervene - just
to call 911 if they see any people or vehicles matching the