SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–The deadly officer involved shooting in Clinton comes just three weeks before Missouri’s Blue Alert Law takes effect.
KOLR10 News got reaction from area police departments about Sunday’s tragedy and their thoughts about the new upcoming law.
After the loss of Clinton Police Officer Gary Michael, there’s only one thing that Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams and Strafford Police Chief Dennis Shook can offer.
“I feel for the family of the Clinton officer and I just pray that the Lord just helps them through this,” says Chief Strafford.
“It’s heart breaking. Prayers to the officer’s family and also to those who are looking for the bad guy,” says Chief Williams.
It’s devastating officer involved shootings like the one in Clinton that prompted Governor Eric Greitens to sign the Blue Alert Bill last month.
“We’re doing it because we want all of these fantastic recruits to know that we’ve got your back,” says Gov. Greitens during July’s press conference.
Part of having law enforcement’s back will be alerting the public to be on the look out for a suspect who has assaulted or in the case of Gary Michael, killed an officer and is still at large.
“Probably a 10-12 hour lag before most people even knew that it occurred including those in law enforcement,” says Chief Williams.
Founder of National Blue Alert Foundation, Tom Berry says “All the media, press, radio, television just like you get for amber alert system will go out in the same way to you guys for blue alerts and then it will go out to the phones as soon as the FCC finishes their approval.”
For now law enforcement must wait until August 28th before the Blue Alerts will take effect, but cautions people that their phones won’t be bombarded with notifications.
“Thank God this doesn’t happen very often,” says Chief Williams.
The Blue Alert Law will take effect on August 28th.
To make sure your smart phone is set to receive Amber alerts and Blue alerts, go to settings and check your notifications. If you scroll to to the bottom, Amber Alerts and Emergency notifications are listed; just click on to get them.