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What is a Blue Alert and why did my phone just go off?

KHOU-TV Houston logo KHOU-TV Houston 3/27/2021 KHOU 11 Staff

As law enforcement searches for a suspect accused of shooting a Texas DPS trooper in Central Texas, millions of Texans' phones notified them to be on the lookout with a Blue Alert.

The Blue Alert was launched in Texas in 2008 when then-governor Rick Perry signed Executive Order RP-68.

It was created to let residents across the state know when an offender who killed or seriously injured a federal, state or local law enforcement officer in the line of duty is on the run. 

According to DPS, four criteria must be met to issue the alert:

  • 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).

Texas is one of the 34 states that currently have the system in place. 

Saturday's alert was an effort to locate 37-year-old DeArthur Pinson who is wanted in connection to the shooting of a Texas DPS Trooper neat Mexia, Texas Friday. 

RELATED: UPDATE: Trooper identified; Blue Alert issued for DeArthur Pinson Jr. wanted in connection to shooting trooper near Mexia

a person posing for the camera © Provided by KHOU-TV Houston

Pinson is about 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 220 pounds. He was last seen wearing glasses, a black hoodie and shorts with a stripe down the side. He has black hair, brown eyes and facial hair. 

If you have seen Pinson or know of his whereabouts, please call 254-315-8287 or your local police department. Authorities said Pinson is armed and dangerous and you should not approach. 


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