What is a Blue Alert and why did your phone go off?


DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — You may have heard this sound in the wee hours of the night. The Alabama Law Enforcement agencies will issue the alert when they need the public’s help in locating a possible suspect.

The blue alert isn’t new to the state of Alabama. The system was created in 2010.

“The blue alert system is a system that is enacted in Alabama and actually 34 states nationwide when a police officer is seriously injured or killed and there’s a known perpetrator that’s on the run. It’s the way we can get the information out as fast as possible,” Lt. Doug Magill said.

So what caused the alarm Tuesday night?

A Kimberly police officer was shot and killed overnight, just 200 miles north of Birmingham, Alabama. Suspect Preston Johnson murdered officer Nick O’Rear during the chase.

The blue alert sounds very similar to the amber alert.

“The emergency wireless system that you get on your cell phones were it will alert you in the middle of the night like an amber alert or silver alert. So these are all based upon the success of the amber alert and these the other things are starting to happen,” Lt. Magill said.

Johnson was arrested in the death of Officer O’Rear.

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