Governor Martin O'Malley Signs Executive Order to Immediately Enact Public Alert System for Killers At-Large
ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 25, 2010) –Governor Martin O’Malley joined Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Terrence Sheridan, John A. "Rodney" Bartlett, president of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, and members of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police to sign an Executive Order establishing the Blue Alert Program, a public alert system designed to capture suspects at large following violent incidents against police officers.
“Thanks to the dedication and hard work of police officers across our State, we’ve driven violent crime down to its lowest rate since modern crime tracking began in 1975,” said Governor O’Malley. “We’ve dedicated every resource available to ensuring our officers have the equipment they need, the best available crime fighting tools, and the latest technology to keep Maryland families safe. This alert system will ensure that if any of our law enforcement officers are harmed, the fugitive will be captured swiftly and brought to justice.”
During the 2010 Maryland legislative session, the General Assembly passed legislation, sponsored by Delegate Curt Anderson, establishing the Blue Alert, providing a system for the rapid dissemination of information to assist in locating and apprehending an offender, suspected of killing or seriously injuring a law enforcement officer, whose disappearances poses a serious threat. Governor O’Malley’s Executive Order will immediately enact this legislation, rather than the original enactment date of October 1.
“The Maryland State Police is proud to take the lead in implementing the Blue Alert program,” Colonel Terrence B. Sheridan said. “When the murder or serious injury of a police officer occurs, our desire to identify and bring to justice the person responsible as quickly as possible. The public's help is invaluable and the prompt dissemination of suspect information to the public will increase our effectiveness in arresting the person or persons responsible for assaults on our police officers.”
“Under the O’Malley-Brown Administration, every concern of law enforcement has been heard, resolved, and taken seriously. Today’s order is another example of the ongoing partnership the police officers of Maryland have had with this Governor,” said John A. "Rodney" Bartlett, president of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police.
Similar to the well-known Amber Alert system, designed to locate missing children, Governor O’Malley also signed into law the Silver Alert in 2009, a public alert system designed to locate missing elderly Marylanders.
Governor O’Malley recently announced that together, we’ve driven violent crime, homicides, and total crime down to their lowest rate since 1975. This progress is possible through innovative programs like the Violence Prevention Initiative, which targets the most dangerous offenders, cross-border warrant teams to crack down on safe havens criminals once relied on, and the Public Safety Dashboard, an interactive web portal through which public safety officers access information in one place from literally dozens of different databases throughout the region. In addition, the O’Malley-Brown Administration immediately dedicated the necessary resources to clear more than 24,000 inherited DNA samples, leading to 155 arrests of murderers, burglars, and rapists whose samples were sitting on a shelf, unanalyzed under the prior administration.