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Blue Alerts Help Law Enforcement Capture Suspects - KOAM TV 7

Blue Alerts Help Law Enforcement Capture Suspects

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In the wake of yesterday's shooting death of a police officer in Topeka, Kansas law enforcement officials put the blue alert into effect.
Similar to Amber and Silver alerts, Blue alerts go out when a law enforcement officer is wounded or killed and the suspect is still at large.

Following the shooting death of 40-year-old Corporal Jason Howard, authorities issued a blue alert for 30-year old Ross Preston Lane.

On Sunday night the Shawnee Co. Sheriff's Office said Officer Harwood stopped a blue or green four-door car near the intersection of 6th and Deer Creek Parkway around 4:45 p.m. During the stop, one or more people in the car fired a weapon, striking the officer, and drove off.

Officials say Lane shot Harwood four times, drove to another location and called Randy Allen Ridens Jr., who allegedly picked him up on a stolen motorcycle. The pair then rode to Douglas Co. where the motorcycle broke down.

Information gathered at the scene indicated that there may have been three people in the car at the time. Several agencies, and the Kansas Highway Patrol helicopter, joined in the search. 

Shortly after 8:00 p.m., they said they captured in Lawrence.

Lane faces a Capital Murder charge and is expected to be formally charged on Tuesday, according to Asst. District Attorney Lee McGowan. Other charges are criminal distribution of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Local law enforcement agencies say the blue alert helps get everyone involved in protecting our communities.
In Cherokee County, Sheriff David Groves says it is important for officers to be prepared for any type of scenario. 

"It reinforces the fact that there's no routine traffic stops, there's no routine calls that we have to be vigilant every moment that we're on the job because things can change in a hurry and they can change for the worst." Groves says.

Although the alert has never been issued in Cherokee County, it's important to make the public aware.

"We rely on our training. We rely on our experiences that hopefully never have to experience something like this. But in the event that things do go bad, hopefully we are equipped and knowledgeable to diffuse them to where everyone is safe." Groves explains.

Kansas is the 20th state in country to utilize the "Blue Alert system". Missouri is currently working to implement it. Oklahoma has no system in place.

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