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Only 4 Blue Alerts ever issued by ALEA; what you need to know about them

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 11:15 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - You know what an Amber Alert is but do you know what a blue alert is for?

Over the weekend, your smartphone probably lit up and loudly sounded for one.

There have only been four blue alerts issued in the history of Alabama. They are issued when someone hurts, kills or kidnaps an officer and is on the run.

November 20 was the most recent one when a text went to smartphones all across Alabama. Law enforcement officers statewide were looking for Randy Lee Wade.

He’s now facing an attempted murder charge after investigators say he tried to shoot a state trooper with his own service weapon during a traffic stop. It was a blue alert that helped track him down.

“It helped us get the information out to law enforcement officers in the field, which enabled us to bring that individual into custody,” Sgt. Jeremy Burkett said.

Sgt. Jeremy Burkett with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says the law was passed approving blue alerts in 2012. The first two were issued in 2019. One was issued in 2020, and the most recent was issued last Saturday.

But before they are issued law enforcement officers will try to catch them first.

“In the law enforcement community, we’re going to do everything we can to try to apprehend them. It’s whenever those means or methods haven’t worked out, or the suspect has escaped or whatever the situation is, that’s when we’re going to reach out to the general public and ask for their help,” Sgt. Burkett said.

Sgt. Burkett says anytime an officer is hurt, kidnapped or killed, and police can’t find the suspect, they issue a blue alert, so you can be on the lookout.

You should expect to see a description of the suspect, vehicle or both.

“We want them to record those facts and then if they see that individual, again not approach them absolutely do not approach them. Understand this individual has either captured, kidnapped, assaulted or killed a law enforcement officer and is believed to be dangerous. All we want the general public to do is share information with law enforcement.”

Sgt. Burkett added they don’t issue these often, because they want the public to understand the severity of one.

Again, the next time one is issued, be on the lookout but do not approach the suspect.

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