JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As promised, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and the General Assembly have delivered the Blue Alert system.
With a recent increase in violence against police officers, Greitens signed SB 34, which would establish the Blue Alert system, similar to the Amber Alert system used for missing children.
Greitens penned his signature to the bill Thursday at the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy, as Ballwin officer Mike Flamion watched. The nine-year law enforcement veteran was injured after being ambushed and shot during a traffic stop one year ago. He was paralyzed from the neck down.
The Blue Alert system would notify the public in the event of a law enforcement officer being injured or killed. Greitens has pushed for the legislation since taking office, saying it will promote public safety and help protect police officers in Missouri. When the Blue Alert goes into effect, Missouri will become the 28th state to adopt such a program.
But SB 34 also creates a new crime in the Show-Me State: illegal reentry. What this means is that if a person is deported from the U.S. for committing a crime and then returns and commits a felony, they could be tried for illegal reentry as well as the felony. The crime of illegal reentry will carry a Class C felony designation, with a punishment of three to seven years.
It also adds museums for children under the age of 18 to the list of public places which a sex offender is banned from.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.