Today, phones across the Ark-La-Tex sounded with alerts for a "Blue Alert", leaving many to ask "what does this mean?"

The alert comes from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and is designed to alert the public when an officer is harmed in the line of duty, and a suspect is on the run. Here's what today's Blue Alert was about:

The Texas DPS explains the four criteria must be met to issue Blue Alerts:

  • 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 Department of Public Safety (DPS).