Summary: S.665 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-12 (05/19/2015)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The expanded summary of the Senate reported version is repeated here.)

Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015

(Sec. 3) Directs the Attorney General to: (1) establish a national Blue Alert communications network within the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue Blue Alerts through the initiation, facilitation, and promotion of Blue Alert plans for the dissemination of information received as a Blue Alert, in coordination with states, local governments, and law enforcement agencies; and (2) assign an existing DOJ officer to act as the national coordinator of the network.

Defines "Blue Alert" as information sent through the network relating to: (1) the serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, (2) an officer who is missing in connection with the officer's official duties, or (3) an imminent and credible threat that an individual intends to cause the serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer.

(Sec. 4) Sets forth the duties of the national coordinator, including:

  • providing assistance to states and local governments that are using Blue Alert plans;
  • establishing voluntary guidelines for states and local governments to use in developing such plans;
  • developing protocols for efforts to apprehend suspects;
  • working with states to ensure appropriate regional coordination of various elements of the network;
  • establishing an advisory group to assist states, local governments, law enforcement agencies, and other entities in initiating, facilitating, and promoting Blue Alert plans;
  • acting as the nationwide point of contact for the development of the network and the regional coordination of Blue Alerts through the network; and
  • determining what procedures and practices are in use for notifying law enforcement and the public of a Blue Alert and which procedures and practices are effective and do not require the expenditure of additional resources to implement.

Requires the guidelines to: (1) provide that appropriate information relating to a Blue Alert is disseminated to officials of law enforcement, public health, and other agencies; (2) provide mechanisms that ensure that Blue Alerts comply with all applicable federal, state, and local privacy laws and regulations; and (3) include standards that specifically provide for the protection of the civil liberties of law enforcement officers and their families.

Directs the coordinator to report annually on the coordinator's activities and the effectiveness and status of the Blue Alert plans that are in effect or being developed.