'Blue Alerts' could help capture cop shooters in Minnesota


Think of it as an "Amber Alert" for downed police officers.

Known simply as "Blue Alert," it would send out text messages and notifications for radio, TV, and traffic signs when an officer is killed or wounded, the Star Tribune reports.

Instead of helping find missing children or their abductors (like the Amber alert), the alerts would assist authorities in tracking down suspected police attackers.

Now, a bill that would implement the system is one step closer to a vote in the Minnesota legislature, thanks to a "thumbs up" from the House Public Safety Committee this week.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Tony Cornish, himself a former police officer for more than 30 years, the Winona Daily News reports.

Blue Alerts are already being used in at least 20 other states, and the debate over whether to use them here in Minnesota seems especially timely with the conclusion of a Twin Cities "cop killer" case.

Brian Fitch was convicted Monday night in the July murder of Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick. Fitch eluded authorities after the shooting and, according to prosecutors, planned to kill as many officers as he could following the incident. He was later wounded in a shootout, and is now facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Committee members used the highly publicized Fitch case as an example of how Blue Alerts could help authorities bring in such suspects more quickly, according to WCCO.

MPR notes the bill has at least one more hurdle to clear before it's put to a vote – it'll now go to the House Transportation Committee for further review.

Next Up


Pair escape uninjured as plane crashes moments after takeoff

It crashed about a half mile southwest of Faribault Airport.

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 4.12.50 PM

For The Week: Making cocktails at home? Here's how to do it right

Lindsay Guentzel's For The Week column features simple food and drink tips.

coronavirus, covid-19

Mayo Clinic study provides 'best guess' about pandemic's future in MN

Minnesota could be seeing decreasing numbers into the summer if the study is correct.

daunte wright funeral - siblings

Mourners remember Daunte Wright, plead for justice

Wright was killed by a now-former Brooklyn Center police officer on April 11.


HealthPartners: COVID hospitalizations driven by unvaccinated, middle aged adults

The health provider says the average age of its hospitalized patients is trending downwards.

Andrew Thomas booking photo

Man suspected of shooting at National Guard in Minneapolis faces more charges

He has now been charged in Hennepin County District Court with more serious crimes.


Investigation finds EPA mishandled oversight for PolyMet mine permits

A new report found the EPA didn't follow its own procedures when it submitted comments on the proposed project.


MDH's new COVID guidance urges weekly testing for those involved in sports

Those not involved in school sports are still advised to get tested every two weeks.

Trey Lance

With loaded QB draft class, now is the time for Vikings to act

With a strong class, this year might be the time to select Kirk Cousins' successor.