Texas Division of Emergency Management says system might be to blame for vague Blue alert Monday night


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Division of Emergency Management is looking at the system that sends out emergency alerts after a Blue alert sent Monday did not include information like location and a suspect description.

“At the request of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas State Operations Center issued a statewide Blue Alert for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office,” a spokesperson for TDEM said. “The Texas State Operations Center is currently working with system support specialists to determine why all of the information entered into the alert system was not transmitted publicly.”

The alert sent to Texans late Monday night said, “Law Enforcement Blue Alert in this area until Aug 17 12:19AM CDT. Monitor Radio or TV.” Though the alert was sent statewide, it did not say where the incident occurred, nor did it give information on what people should be looking for.

Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde told our sister station in north Texas Tuesday that a Texas Ranger who was on scene of Monday’s shooting initiated the process of getting a Blue alert pushed to Texans.

“They (DPS) had all the information, they made the decision, not me,” Lyde said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety told KXAN that at the time that Blue alert was activated, the flyer created by DPS and posted online did include suspect and vehicle description.

But that information was not sent to Texans Monday night. TDEM said they are working to figure out why.

That Blue alert has been discontinued by the Texas Department of Public Safety after the suspect’s car was located.

According to our sister station in north Texas, the suspect from that Blue alert is in custody after a foot chase from a hotel on I-20. A news conference is scheduled for this afternoon.

A Blue alert is used when a member of law enforcement has been seriously injured or killed, and the public’s help is needed finding the suspect.

The criteria DPS uses to issue the alerts are:

  • A law enforcement officer must have been killed or seriously injured by an offender
  • The investigating law enforcement agency must determine that the offender poses a serious risk or threat to the public and other law enforcement personnel
  • A detailed description of the offender’s vehicle, vehicle tag, or partial tag must be available for broadcast to the public
  • The investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction must recommend activation of the Blue Alert to the Texas DPS

To subscribe to alert emails, go to the DPS’ site and sign up.

Emergency alerts can be toggled on and off in your cell phone settings.

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