The Indiana Senate recently passed yet another measure sponsored by State Senator Jim Arnold of LaPorte – this one aiming at improving safety of and ensuring protection for police officers in Indiana. Arnold said the bill gives communities the tools to become more informed during incidents involving police officers, and by keeping the public informed, locals can pull together to help protect those who serve their cities and towns.
House Bill 1151 aims to create a Blue Alert program for officers who are killed, hurt, or missing in the line of duty, allowing participating television and radio stations to broadcast and transmit information to the public regarding officers in danger. Electronic billboard operators may also volunteer their services through the program.
Under the bill, the Indiana State Police would handle determining the area boundaries for the alert, and they would also put into place guidelines for receiving and verifying information and the use of the broadcasts. This is similar to the ISP’s Silver Alert program which broadcasts information about missing and endangered adults.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Transportation, and Veteran Affairs unanimously passed the bill, sending it to the full Senate where it once again passed unanimously. The bill will now head back to the House of Representatives, allowing its author to consider Senate-recommended changes.