Congress passed the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act on Thursday, a nationwide alert system to be used when a law enforcement official is injured or killed in the line of duty. The bill is named after two New York Police Department officers who were killed in their police cruiser last December.
“Similar to Amber Alerts, Blue Alerts help distribute time-sensitive information to help quickly identify and apprehend violent criminals. The bill will soon head to the President’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law,” House Speaker John Boehner’s office said in a press release.
In 2014, 51 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty, an increase of almost 89 percent compared to the 27 officers killed in 2013, FBI statistics say.
Blue Alerts is just one of the pieces of legislation the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) pushed for this year. FOP’s president Chuck Canterbury told The Daily Caller the organization is looking toward is reforming investigations on law enforcement.
“There needs to be uniformity in the investigations conducted on police officers. Police officers need to have the same due process rights as the suspects that we arrest and currently law-enforcement officers are compelled in a lot of places to give statements without the ability to have an attorney and only in places that have a law enforcement bill of rights do officers have that kind of due process,” he said. “We are going to push for national legislation. That’s been a piece of our legislation for a number of years.”