Summary: S.657 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (09/08/2011)

National Blue Alert Act of 2011 - Directs the Attorney General to: (1) establish a national Blue Alert communications network within the Department of Justice (DOJ) to disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, and (2) assign an existing DOJ officer to act as the national coordinator of such network.

Sets forth the duties of the national coordinator, including: (1) providing assistance to states and local governments that are using Blue Alert plans; (2) establishing voluntary guidelines for states and local governments to use in developing such plans; (3) developing protocols for efforts to apprehend suspects that address activities during the period between the initial notification of a law enforcement agency that a suspect has not been apprehended and the time of apprehension of the suspect, or when the law enforcement agency involved determines that the Blue Alert is no longer effective; (4) working with states to ensure appropriate regional coordination of various elements of the network; (5) establishing an advisory group to assist states, local governments, law enforcement agencies, and other entities in initiating, facilitating, and promoting Blue Alert plans; (6) acting as the nationwide point of contact for the development of the network and regional coordination of Blue Alerts; and (7) determining which procedures and practices for notifying law enforcement and the public when a law enforcement officer is killed or seriously injured are effective and do not require the expenditure of additional resources to implement.

Prohibits the national coordinator from: (1) lobbying any officer of a state regarding the funding or implementation of a Blue Alert plan, or (2) hosting a conference focused solely on the Blue Alert program that requires the expenditure of federal funds.

Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act to: (1) authorize public safety and community policing grants to be used to assist states in developing and enhancing programs and activities in support of a Blue Alert plan and communications network, and (2) authorize appropriations for such purpose.