Senate Bill 258 was sponsored by State Senator Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and by State Senator Tom Patton (R-Strongsville), whose son was a Cleveland Heights Police Officer who died in the line of duty in 2010. SB 258 will establish a statewide Blue Alert system. The Blue Alert will assist law enforcement in the capture of an individual who has either seriously harmed or killed a law enforcement officer. Much like Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts, Blue Alerts utilize broadcast alert systems to relay information about the suspect to the public in a timely manner.
“We hope that Ohio will never have to use a Blue Alert, but should that day come, this system will help reduce the time a suspect who has killed or wounded a law enforcement officer may be at large. This law is vital for the safety of law enforcement and the protection of Ohio residents,” said Attorney General DeWine.
SB 258 passed the Ohio Senate 32-0 and the Ohio House 84-0. The law will become effective in 90 days on June 7, 2012.
Thirteen other states have adopted Blue Alert systems, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.