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Missouri becomes latest state to install Blue Alert system

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new alert system is set to go into effect in Missouri Monday.

Called Blue Alert, it helps get the word out to the public if there is an attack on a police officer.

Police officers have a dangerous job to do, and they put their lives on the line each and every day. This Blue Alert system is a new form of backup. Should an officer be attacked while on the job, it will give the public information so they can help police find the suspect.

Officer Gary Michael

Just three weeks ago, Clinton, Mo., police officer Gary Michael was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop. It took officers two days to find and arrest a suspect.

If the Blue Alert system had been in effect then, you would’ve seen a crawl on the bottom of your TV shortly after the shooting. You also would’ve been notified on your phone and radio about the incident with information about the suspect and suspect’s vehicle, and maybe it would've helped officers find the suspect sooner.

This is like an Amber Alert or a Silver Alert but will only be used if a police officer is killed, injured or goes missing while on the job.

The Blue Alert system started in Florida back in 2008 and today, 28 states use it. Eight other states are currently considering it. Missouri is the latest to install the Blue Alert system – Kansas has had it since 2014.

The Missouri Highway Patrol is operating this Blue Alert System, and besides TV, radio and cell phones, they will also use highway message boards just like they do during an Amber Alert.

So be aware if an officer is attacked in Missouri anytime in the future and if police know who did it, the Blue Alert system could be utilized - to help find the attacker before they hurt someone else.