TBI apologizes for duplicate Blue Alert notifications | WJHL
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has apologized for duplicate Blue Alert notifications issued early Wednesday morning for Erin shooting suspect BJ Brown even though the initial mobile alert was sent Tuesday evening.

BJ Brown is accused of shooting an Erin police officer during a traffic stop Monday night. He was captured Wednesday morning.

The duplicate alerts were sent to cell phones around 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“We’ve heard your frustration – loud and clear – about receiving multiple alerts on your mobile devices when two Blue Alerts were issued on Tuesday, June 28th. Some people received audible notifications overnight, many hours after the actual Blue Alerts were issued and resolved. That’s frustrating and inconvenient, for all of us. And for that, we apologize.”

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

The TBI reported, after speaking with its partners, the emergency message regarding each Blue Alert was sent one time, in each case.

The TBI listed multiple factors why the notifications were received multiple times, hours later, or not at all:

  • Your particular cellular service provider
  • Your movement in and out of state
  • Your movement across cell tower coverage areas
  • If you power your device on and off
  • If you shift in and out of airplane mode
  • Your signal strength at any particular time
  • Software and Wi-Fi settings

“Like you, we want our alert system to be as helpful as it can be, and always work to sharpen what we do based on your feedback. We hear many of your frustrations about what happened, and will certainly take it into account moving forward.”

TBI began issuing Blue Alerts in July 2011. The purpose of the system—established by Tennessee Code (TCA 38-6-122)—is to provide “rapid dissemination of information to the public to assist in apprehending violent criminals who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers in the line of duty or to aid in locating a missing officer where foul play is involved.”

The Blue Alert program uses the statewide infrastructure of America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alert system.

Criteria for Blue Alerts

All the following criteria must be met for TBI to activate a Blue Alert:

  • A sworn law enforcement officer is killed, sustains life-threatening injuries or the officer is missing in the line of duty under circumstances warranting concern for the law enforcement officer’s safety
  • The suspect(s) pose(s) an imminent threat to public safety and law enforcement personnel
  • A description of the offender or vehicle is available for statewide broadcast to the public and law enforcement 911 centers.
  • Prior to activation, if the suspect(s) is/are identified, the requesting agency will immediately: Place the suspect in the temporary felon file in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Obtain felony warrants as soon as possible or within 24 hours and enter the offender into NCIC.
  • The head of any Tennessee law enforcement agency, Colonel of the Highway Patrol, Chief, Sheriff, or their designee of the investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction requests the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to activate the Blue Alert system.

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