FCC Chairman Pai Proposes to Add Blue Alerts to EAS
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a proposal to add an alert option to the nation’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) to help protect law enforcement officers today at an event hosted by the Department of Justice, which announced the nationwide rollout of the National Blue Alert Network (News Release available here). The “Blue Alert” option would be used by authorities in states across the country to notify the public about threats to law enforcement and to help apprehend dangerous suspects. Blue Alerts can be used to warn the public when there is actionable information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, or when there is an imminent credible threat to an officer. Chairman Pai’s proposal would amend the EAS rules by creating a dedicated Blue Alert event code so that state and local authorities have the option to send these warnings to the public through broadcasters. The Chairman plans to ask his fellow commissioners to vote on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) at the FCC’s June 22 Open Meeting. If adopted, the NPRM would pose questions and invite public comment on the proposal.