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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senate approves measure creating BLUE alert to protect uniformed personnel



Pallbearers carry the casket of fallen police agent Eliezer Ramos Vélez at his funeral on Wednesday. (Department of Public Safety/Facebook)

By The Star Staff


Given the recent cases of attacks and crimes against uniformed personnel, the island Senate in its ordinary session on Thursday approved a bill that proposes establishing the BLUE alert.


Senate Bill 1404, authored by Sen. Carmelo Ríos Santiago, seeks to develop the Enabling Law to Implement the BLUE Alert Plan, in order to have a mechanism that facilitates the search and capture of those suspected of threatening, injuring or killing police officers in the fulfillment of duty. The mechanism would also expedite the search and recovery of those uniformed personnel who disappeared in connection with their official duties.


According to the bill’s preamble, the BLUE Alert seeks to be a prevention system like other systems already used in Puerto Rico, such as the Ashanti, Silver, and Rosa Alert, among others. In addition, the island has a self-sufficient platform capable of quickly and effectively transmitting any emergency signal, with the potential of avoiding officer fatalities, the preamble says.


The legislation was addressed in a Feb. 21 public hearing of the upper chamber’s Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee, in which the Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Emergency Management and Disaster Administration, and Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP) showed no qualms about it becoming law.


Also during the public hearing, the Office of Management and Budget indicated that the impact, if any, would be minimal, since other alert plans already exist. However, if there is any impact, the measure provides mechanisms to authorize the DTOP to receive, request, accept, write and submit proposals for donations and contributions of resources from public and private sources.

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