President Barack Obama signs S. 665, the "Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015," in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C. on May 19, 2015. The bill, named after New York City slain officers Ramos and Liu, orders the Department of Justice to establish a national Blue Alert communications network to disseminate information on: the serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty; an officer who is missing in connection with the officer's official duties; or an imminent and credible threat that an individual intends to cause the serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama signed a law that will create a nationwide "Blue Alert" system that will inform police officers about threats made against them.
The system will also help track down suspects who made threats. Obama was joined in the Oval Office by the families of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, the two murdered New York City police officers who were killed while sitting in their patrol car in December.
Ismaaiyl Brinsley killed himself after shooting the officers to death. Brinsley killed his girlfriend earlier in the day and then made a threat on his Instagram account stating he would kill police officers the day he carried out the shooting, but the threat was never brought to the attention of New York City officers.
The "Blue Alert" system is modeled after the Amber Alerts system for abducted children and Silver Alerts for missing seniors.
The Department of Justice will be required to create a notification system relating to assaults on police officers, officers who are missing in the line of duty and credible threats against law enforcement.
"They were serving their community with great honor and dedication and courage, and all of New York grieved and all of the nation grieved," Obama said in the Oval Office signing ceremony. "It's important for us not only to honor their memory, it's also important for us to make sure that we do everything we can to help ensure the safety of our police officers when they're in the line of duty."