What is a Blue Alert? The history behind the alert and its criteria

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Posted at 12:34 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 13:40:25-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol issued a Blue Alert Tuesday morning, but what does that mean? Here's more information on the history of Blue Alerts and its criteria.

According to MSHP's website, Congress passed the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act in honor of two New York City police officers killed in an ambush attack on December 20, 2014.

A year later, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services was asked to implement the Blue Alert Act and establish a National Blue Alert Network.

Blue Alerts provide rapid distribution of information to law enforcement agencies, media, and the public about people who have killed, seriously injured, or posed a credible threat to law enforcement.

Blue Alerts can be transmitted via wireless devices and through the Emergency Alert System.

A Blue Alert is authorized when:

1. a law enforcement officer is killed or seriously injured in the line of duty; or
2. an officer is missing in connection with official duties; or
3. there is an imminent and credible threat to kill or seriously injure a law enforcement officer; and
4. there is actionable information known about a suspect for a public notification to be helpful to law enforcement; and
5. the law enforcement agency involved requests or approves the alert being issued

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.