South Dakota activates 'Blue Alert' system for officer safety

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PIERRE, S.D. -

Attorney General Marty Jackley has announced that the State of South Dakota has added the Blue Alert system to their statewide notification systems. A Blue Alert is activated when there is a suspect at large who has killed or caused serious injury to a law enforcement officer or if an officer has been abducted or is missing.

“Anyone who seriously harms or kills law enforcement officers in the line of duty poses danger to all”, said Jackley. “The Blue Alert system will allow quick distribution regarding safety information and details about a subject to the citizens in the State.”

The Blue Alert system uses the existing Amber Alert network to broadcast warnings. Partners in this system include the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Central South Dakota Communications and the Division of Criminal Investigation. We would also like to recognize the Rapid City Police Department for their work in advocating the need for this statewide system.

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The activation of the Blue Alert comes at the request of a law enforcement agency that is investigating an offense against a law enforcement officer. The following criteria must be met:

1. An individual has threatened a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, has used a deadly weapon against a law enforcement officer, has caused a law enforcement officer to suffer serious bodily injury or death, or the officer has been abducted or is missing while on duty;

2. The individual has fled the scene of the offense and there is sufficient descriptive information of the suspect, including any relevant vehicle and license tag information available for broadcast;

3. The law enforcement agency investigating the offense has determined the individual poses a threat to the public or other law enforcement personnel. 

4. Dissemination of available information to the public may help avert further harm or assist in the apprehension of the suspect. 

Our current state notification systems include:

  • South Dakota Amber Alert Plan- Statewide notification to South Dakota law enforcement and South Dakota media to disseminate specific details to the public to assist in locating an abducted child.
  • Endangered Missing Advisory (EMA) - A partnership between law enforcement and local broadcasters who notify the public about missing and endangered persons. It is designed for those instances when a missing person does not meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert.

Information from the Office of South Dakota Attorney General Marty J. Jackley

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