'Blue Alert' bill moves closer to becoming law

A bill to add a new statewide alert system is gaining traction in the general assembly. It is called the Trooper Jonathan K. Leonard Blue Alert system. It's named after a state trooper who was killed in the line of duty in Pike County.

The blue alert bill has already unanimously passed the Senate. On Wednesday, it easily cleared the house transportation committee.

Trooper Jonathan Leonard was killed in the line of duty, in a car accident in 2006. Pikeville Senator Ray Jones says Trooper Leonard's family approached him about sponsoring the bill. It would give state police the tools to set up a wide reaching notification system, similar to an amber alert, if a police officer is killed, injured, or missing in the line of duty.

"It may save a police officer's life, or get someone off the street before they hurt someone else," said Senator Jones.

Senator Jones says State Police will have full discretion on using the blue alert system. It would use the media, highway signs, and the emergency alert system to get the word out.

Several lawmakers in the house committee who voted for the bill said their votes were in honor of police officers killed in the line of duty in their districts.

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