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Blue Alert Issued for Slain DPS Trooper Set to be Available

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WESLACO – An uncommon alert was sent out Thursday night by Texas officials. Not many received the alert, but when they did, they weren't sure what it was.

Faustina Charles said she had no idea what a Blue Alert was.

The alert is designed to speed up the apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously wound law enforcement officers.

"It's very important, especially when we are talking about troopers and police and the whole people who are supposed to protect us. It's very important that we are up-to-date,” she said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to director and founder of the National Blue Alert System, Tom Berry, to find out why he created this alert.

"I created it back here in Florida, May 8th of 2008 when we felt that there was a need here in the state with the officers being killed,” he explained. “We wanted the apprehension of the criminals by using social media, the highway signs and television to put that information out."

The public receives any information regarding the suspect. Beery said starting in December, everyone will have the chance to get that information through Blue Alert.

"The FCC has authorized that we are going to put the Blue Alert on the emergency alert system. Like the Amber Alert system, how it goes to your phone when there's an Amber Alert,” he said.

A Blue Alert will automatically go to cellphones when one is called in the states that have a Blue Alert program. Each state runs their own system, but sometimes other states will be called to send a notice out as well.

"We went national on it because we felt it was pretty bad,” he said. “He could have gone toward Louisiana. He could have gone towards Mexico. Again, we didn't know where he was going so we decided to hit the national button."

Berry said the alert has to meet certain criteria before it can be issued.   

"We have to know who the person is before we call a Blue Alert,” he said.

Like an Amber Alert, they have to know who they're looking for. Berry emphasized authorities can't issue a Blue Alert if they don't know who the suspect is. 

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