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AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Monday announced the creation of a system that would broadcast descriptions of people suspected of injuring or killing law enforcement officers to the media and on electronic billboards across the state.
Called Blue Alert, the system also would provide information such as the make, model and color of vehicles that suspects were driving and any other details that might help officers find and arrest them.
Perry said residents could help in such cases "simply by remaining vigilant."
"Working together, Texans can show their support for the brave men and women who protect them," he said.
Perry announced the program with Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo during a news conference at Austin police headquarters.
Dozens of Austin officers, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and officers from other parts of the state attended the event, as did family members of several fallen officers.
Officials said the program is among the first of its kind in the nation.
Allan Polunsky , chairman of the Public Safety Commission , which oversees DPS, said local law enforcement could request that the system be activated when an offender poses a public risk or continued danger to officers.
Alerts would continue for at least 24 hours, Polunsky said. They could be discontinued if a suspect has been arrested or is thought to have left the state.
This year, seven officers have been killed in the line of duty in Texas. Perry said the deaths are "seven reminders of the perils of law enforcement."
Sherlynn Kelley represented Central Texas COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) at Monday's event. Her brother, former Kendall County sheriff's deputy Lt. Larry Kolb, was killed in 1999 while responding to a report that shots had been fired at a mobile home.
Kelley said she is pleased by Perry's effort.
"We are excited about it," she said. "We need to protect our men and women who serve."