Legislation signed into law by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (R) to establish a “Blue Alert System” will go into effect in August.
Governor Greitens signed the Blue Alert bill into law earlier this month. It takes effect on August 28.
State Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, who sponsored the bill, says it will protect law enforcement officers.
“It’s a really important public safety measure to help us send a message, a strong message, that we cannot and we will not tolerate any crimes directed at our law enforcement community,” Dogan says.
The “Blue Alert system” is aimed at identifying and locating those suspected of killing or seriously injuring a law enforcement officer. The bill also establishes the Blue Alert System Oversight Committee.
Dogan says 27 other states already have a similar system in place. He compares it to the Amber Alert System.
“It essentially notifies the public, just like the Amber Alert, whenever there is a shooting, you know if you have a suspect vehicle description or a description of a suspect, whatever information law enforcement has, they are going to share that with the general public,” says Dogan.
Greitens signed the bill during a ceremony at the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy. Representative Dogan spoke at the ceremony.
“And I really just talked about how this is a big step forward in protecting the men and women of law enforcement,” Dogan says. “They devote their lives to keeping us safe and to making Missouri safer and stronger, and so this is really just a way for us to say that we’ve got your backs.”
Dogan tells Missourinet St. Louis Police Officer Tom Lake and St. Louis Police Sergeant Charles Lowe attended the bill-signing ceremony. Dogan says Lake and Lowe were ambushed in the line of duty.
The bill contains an amendment from State Rep. Nicholas Schroer, R-O’Fallon, which increases penalties for assaults on first responders.
In July 2016 in Dogan’s district, Ballwin police officer Mike Flamion was shot and paralyzed during a traffic stop.
Dogan says the Gary Sinise Foundation is helping to build a custom house for Flamion. Dogan says the home is expected to be completed this fall, adding that the Ballwin-area community has come together to support Flamion.
St. Louis County Prosecutors have charged Antonio Taylor with assault on a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of a firearm for the Flamion incident. Taylor’s pre-trial conference is set for August 17 in Clayton.
Dogan says the Blue Alert bill had strong, bipartisan support.
State Rep. Justin Hill, R-Lake St. Louis, sponsored the bill with Dogan.
Hill, Dogan and numerous lawmakers attended the bill-signing ceremony. State Reps. Derek Grier, R-Chesterfield, Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville, Karla May, D-St. Louis and Donna Baringer, D-St. Louis, were there. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) also attended.
Click here to listen to Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with State Representative Shamed Dogan, which runs about five minutes and 45 seconds. It was recorded on July 6, 2017: