Justice Department Congratulates the State of Rhode Island for Joining the National Blue Alert Network and for Promoting the Safety of Law Enforcement

For Immediate Release
COPS Office Public Affairs
(202) 514-9079


EAST GREENWICH, RI – United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Aaron L. Weisman, working with the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), today recognized the state of Rhode Island for its Blue Alert System, which provides special protections for all Rhode Island law enforcement officers. U.S. Attorney Weisman presented a certificate of recognition to Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of Rhode Island State Police and Director of Public Safety, to acknowledge the importance of Rhode Island’s Blue Alert System, which meets all national guidelines as set forth by the Department of Justice National Blue Alert Network. Today’s recognition was part of the U.S. Attorney’s District of Rhode Island Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony.

“There could scarcely be a more worthwhile endeavor than protecting Rhode Island law enforcement from violent criminals who have done or would do fatal or serious harm to them. In joining 34 other states in providing for the rapid dissemination of information to law enforcement agencies, media, and the public about violent offenders who have killed, seriously injured, or pose an imminent and credible threat to law enforcement, Rhode Island continues to demonstrate its commitment to the vital mission served by our law enforcers,” said U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman.

“As a law enforcement executive with over 50 years of experience in this noble profession, it’s an honor and a privilege to administer the National Blue Alert Network,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “Violent attacks on law enforcement officers constitute an assault on the American way of life and erode the actual and perceived safety of affected communities and our nation as a whole. The COPS Office and the entire Department of Justice applaud the state of Rhode Island for its commitment to law enforcement by affording this vital tool to its law enforcement officers and communities they serve.”

The National Blue Alert Network supports the use and integration of Blue Alert plans throughout the United States in order to rapidly disseminate information to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public to aid in the apprehension of violent criminals who have killed or seriously injured an officer in the line of duty. Blue Alerts can also be issued when a suspect poses an imminent and credible threat to law enforcement, or when an officer is missing in the line of duty.

Blue Alerts can be transmitted to television and radio stations, to cellphones and wireless devices, to overhead highway message signs, and other secondary alerting mechanisms – in the same way that AMBER Alerts are commonly issued. There are currently 35 states with Blue Alert plans. The COPS Office provides resources and technical assistance to states, territories, law enforcement agencies, and tribes seeking to establish or enhance Blue Alert plans, including voluntary activation guidelines, examples of legislation, policies, and forms gathered from around the nation in a central Blue Alert data repository.

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 130,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.