FCC creates emergency alerts for threats to law enforcement

The alerts will be sent to your television or mobile devices.

December 14, 2017, 6:24 PM

— -- The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to establish an alert system that would warn the public if a police officer in their community is threatened, missing, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.

The so-called "Blue Alerts" are designed to protect the public from potential threats and help apprehend dangerous suspects. The notifications could go to your television or wireless devices, much like existing weather warnings or missing children alerts.

The alerts will be managed by local and state law enforcement and will provide information to the recipients about steps they can take to protect themselves or help police locate any suspects.

Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr approved the proposal. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said she approved in part and dissented in part.

Today's vote was the culmination of a law signed in May 2015 by then-President Barack Obama that created the Blue Alerts. The FCC was tasked to establish how exactly these alerts would be transmitted.

Present at the meeting were the family members of two former New York City police officers who in 2014 were killed in the line of duty. The 2015 law is named after the officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

The FCC oversees the nation's airwaves and emergency alert systems.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events