Blue alert sends Texans searching for answers; DPS explains

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 11:03 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Blue Alert sent out Monday night for a Clay County shooting sent Texans to the internet searching for answers. After 11 p.m., this notification was sent across the state:

Blue alert sent out Monday night after 11 p.m.
Blue alert sent out Monday night after 11 p.m.(KCBD)

While this incident took place near Wichita Falls, Sergeant Johnny Bures, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, says the department wants to get the word out to anyone in a potentially dangerous area.

“This is important information that we’re wanting to share because this is, you know, a threat, a threat and potential danger to, you know, our folks, our citizens, our neighbors, you know, you, your family,” Bures said.

According to their website, DPS uses following criteria to issue a Blue Alert:

  • A law enforcement officer must have been killed or seriously injured by an offender.
  • The investigating law enforcement agency must determine that the offender poses a serious risk or threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel.
  • A detailed description of the offender’s vehicle, vehicle tag, or partial tag must be available for broadcast to the public.
  • The investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction must recommend activation of the Blue Alert to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

“A lot of times if it seems like the reports are kind of vague, then that may just be all the information we have at that time. So, we share these out hopefully trying to gather more,” Bures said.

The Blue Alert program started in 2008, signed into effect by Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

When any government alert like this pops up, you can go to the Texas Alerts Twitter page to find subject and vehicle descriptions.

“And with these alerts, this Amber Alert, you know we’ve got missing kids. The Silver Alert, we’ve got missing folks, senior citizens. The blue alert, we have this threat out there to the public. You know, utilize 911, give them the information,” Bures said.

In Texas, there’s also an Endangered Missing Alert for missing persons with an intellectual disability, a Camo Alert for missing current or former military members who suffer from mental illness, and a Clear Alert for missing adults from the age of 18 to 64 who may be in imminent danger.

“Those three are pretty rare and not a lot of folks have heard about those, and so we just wanted to share that, also. Because it’s going to be that same alert tone that goes out. You’re going to hear that scary, loud noise and you know, the reason for that is because it gets everybody’s attention,” Bures said.

Bures also mentioned another tool for Texans, the iWatch Texas app. He says if you see something suspicious, it may not even be criminal, but just doesn’t seem right, you can fill out a short report and the information will be sent out to the right agency.

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