DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Floridians are somewhat accustomed to their cell phones sounding an unsettling alarm to let them know about an Amber Alert regarding a missing child. But on Thursday, the sound came with a different warning: a Blue Alert.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, a Blue Alert is a request for assistance from the public following the disappearance, assault, or death of a law enforcement officer.
In Thursday’s case, the alert is connected to the manhunt for Othal Wallace, who is accused of shooting a Daytona Beach police officer in the head on Wednesday night. Click here to read live updates about the case.
According to FDLE, to activate a Blue Alert, the following four criteria must be met:
1. A law enforcement officer must have been: seriously injured; killed by a subject(s); or become missing while in the line of duty under circumstances causing concern for the law enforcement officer’s safety.
2. The investigating agency must determine that the offender(s) poses a serious risk to the public or to other law enforcement officers, and the alert may help avert further harm or assist in the apprehension of the suspect.
3. A detailed description of the offender’s vehicle or other means of escape (vehicle tag or partial tag) must be available for broadcast to the public.
4. The local law enforcement agency of jurisdiction must recommend issuing the Blue Alert.