But what’s with the Blue Alerts?

Statewide Blue Alerts released Wednesday

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But what’s with the Blue Alerts?

by Rachel Oliver, Editor-in-Chief

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What is a Blue Alert?

A Blue Alert is a text message sent out by the DPS to inform the public that a police officer has been killed or injured in the line of duty and that the suspect has not been found. The Blue Alerts released on Wednesday, Dec. 11 were sent out statewide, making it the first time the Blue Alert system has been used since its creation. The system was implemented in 2008, and Texas was the second state out of 35 states to eventually adopt the system.

Why have I been getting so many blue alerts?

Nassau Bay Police Sgt. Kaila Sullivan was killed on Tuesday, Dec. 10 during a traffic stop. The suspect, Tavores Dewayne Henderson, had hit Sullivan with his car after breaking free from Sullivan and another officer. He then fled the scene, and his car was later found abandoned. Sullivan survived the initial impact and later died in the hospital. Henderson was already wanted for multiple aggravated assault charges, and after killing Officer Sullivan, this was upgraded to felony murder. He was found in a Houston home, that police reported to be Henderson’s girlfriend’s residence, on Thursday, Dec. 12. Henderson, his mother and her boyfriend were all three taken into custody. Henderson was originally charged with felony murder and was held on a bond of $150,000. His charge has since been upgraded to capital murder without bond. Henderson’s mother, Tiffany Henderson, and her boyfriend, Geoffrey Wheeler, are both being held on a $50,000 bond for hindering prosecution after lying to authorities about her son’s whereabouts. 

How does one get on the list for blue alerts?

Blue Alerts are part of the Texas Statewide Alert system, in which there are six different alert categories: AMBER Alert, Silver Alert, Endangered Missing Persons Alert, the Camo Alert, Clear Alert and the Blue Alert. All of these Government Alerts are controlled under phone settings. To make sure alerts are turned on on your Apple device, go into the Settings app, then Notifications, and under Government Alerts there are options to either enable or disable AMBER Alerts, Emergency Alerts and Public Safety Alerts.