What is a Blue Alert?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Among the various alerts from law enforcement that you may notice flashing across your cellphone screen or appearing in your social media feeds is the Blue Alert.

There are currently 37 states with protocols to transmit Blue Alerts via TV, radio, cellphone, wireless device, highway message signs and other devices to “aid in the apprehension of violent criminals who have killed, or seriously injured an officer in the line of duty,” according to the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services.

The Blue Alert program uses the statewide infrastructure of America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alert system.

States may have had Blue Alerts, possibly known by a different name, before the creation of a national network in 2015. Congress passed a law creating the network in the wake of the December 2014 ambush killings of New York City Police Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

Tennessee Blue Alerts

As of Tuesday, law enforcement officials in Tennessee had issued two Blue Alerts. The first Blue Alert is for Samuel Quinton Edwards, a 34-year-old man accused of shooting a police officer Monday night during a police chase.

Edwards is wanted by the Metro Nashville Police Department and the TBI for Attempted Criminal Homicide and Evading Arrest by Motor Vehicle.

Samuel Q. Edwards (Courtesy: MNPD)

Edwards is currently out on bond facing a long list of charges out of Putnam County. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office confirmed he was booked after a run-in with law enforcement earlier this month.

Edwards is believed to be armed with two guns. Anyone who sees him is asked to call 911 immediately.

The second alert, issued Tuesday evening, is for BJ Brown. The 32-year-old is accused of shooting an Erin police officer during a traffic stop Monday night.

32-year-old BJ Brown
(Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

Brown is also wanted for second-degree murder in Louisiana. According to the New Orleans Police Department, Brown is accused of killing a woman in downtown New Orleans Monday morning.

He should be considered armed and dangerous.

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