143B-1023. North Carolina Blue Alert System established.

(a) There is established within the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons the Blue Alert System. The purpose of the Blue Alert System is to aid in the apprehension of a suspect who kills or inflicts serious bodily injury on a law enforcement officer by providing a statewide system for the rapid dissemination of information regarding the suspect. The term "serious bodily injury" is as defined in G.S. 14-32.4(a).

(b) The Center shall make every effort to rapidly disseminate information on a suspect when the following criteria are met:

(1) A law enforcement officer is killed or suffers serious bodily injury.

(2) A law enforcement agency with jurisdiction (i) determines that the suspect poses a threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel and (ii) possesses information that may assist in locating the suspect, including information regarding the suspect's vehicle, complete or partial license plate information, and a detailed description of the suspect, or that a law enforcement officer is missing while on duty under circumstances warranting concern for the law enforcement officer's safety.

(3) The head of a law enforcement agency with jurisdiction recommends the issuance of a blue alert to the Center.

(c) The Center shall adopt guidelines and develop procedures for the statewide implementation of the Blue Alert System and shall provide education and training to encourage radio and television broadcasters to participate in the alert.

(d) The Center shall consult with the Department of Transportation and develop a procedure for the use of overhead permanent changeable message signs to provide information on a suspect when the criteria established in subsection (b) of this section are met. The Center and the Department of Transportation shall develop guidelines for the content, length, and frequency of any message to be placed on the overhead permanent changeable message sign pursuant to the issuance of a blue alert.

(e) The Center shall consult with the Division of Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety to develop a procedure for the use of the Blue Alert System to provide information on a suspect when the criteria established in subsection (b) of this section are met. (2016-87, s. 1.)