Vermont’s New Blue Alert System Test & Monthly EAS Test both on Friday, August 23rd

Vermont’s newly developed Blue Alert system is designed to rapidly disseminate information to the public when a law enforcement officer has been seriously injured, killed, or is missing in the line of duty warranting concern for the officer’s safety, and the suspect(s) involved have fled and pose an imminent threat to the public or other law enforcement officers.

Vermont Blue Alert uses a broad definition of a law enforcement officer to include police officers and also members of the Judicial Branch such as judges and prosecutors, members of Corrections and of Probation and Parole. This will include all members in the law enforcement community from federal, state and local governments.

The Vermont Blue Alert system will work similarly to Vermont’s AMBER Alert system. It will be managed and operated by the Vermont Department of Public Safety. When activated the Vermont Blue Alert network will disseminate messages via email, text messages, phone calls, roadside signs, lottery signs, traditional media and various public social media outlets.

A live test of Vermont’s new Blue Alert will be conducted Friday, August 23rd starting at 12:00PM and will utilize the Emergency Alert System, Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), VT-Alert Everbridge System and all state controlled digital message boards. The Wireless Emergency Alert system will NOT be utilized during this test. All test messaging will lead with the following: “This is a TEST of the Vermont BLUE Alert Notification system. Only a Test.” A reminder that Vermont’s Blue Alert is not the only test alert going out on Friday. August 23rd is also the date of an already scheduled monthly EAS test at 6:15AM.

“We are pleased to join the 33 other states that have already implemented their own Blue Alert systems,” said Capt. Kevin Lane, commander of Special Investigations for the Vermont State Police. “We are grateful to the men and women who perform dangerous jobs every day to serve and protect everyone in Vermont. Implementing the Blue Alert system in Vermont gives us one more tool to help keep members of law enforcement and the community safe.”

U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont Christina Nolan praised the implementation of the Blue Alert network.

“We are taking an important step in protecting our brave men and women in uniform, who run toward danger and put themselves at risk every day to make Vermonters safe,” Nolan said. “We must do all we can to support our heroic law enforcement officers as they put themselves on the front lines of our campaigns to combat violence, gun crime, drug trafficking, and other dangerous crimes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is proud to have teamed up with its state and local law enforcement partners to adopt this new tool to promote law enforcement safety and community protection.”

To activate a Blue Alert, a requesting agency should call the Vermont State Police Public Safety Answering Point in either Williston or Westminster, and the request will go to a member of the VSP command staff.

“This network is in place and stands ready,” Capt. Lane said, “but we hope it never has to be used.”

The Vermont Blue Alert network is made up of the following partners: Vermont State Police, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Vermont Intelligence Center, Vermont Emergency Management, Vermont Lottery, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Association of Broadcasters, Vermont Association of Chief of Police, Vermont Sheriffs’ Association, and the Vermont Troopers Association.