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Obama signs bill creating nationwide alert system for police

President Barack Obama signs S. 665, the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. From left are, Justin Ramos, 19, Jayden Ramos, 14, Vice President Joe Biden, Maritza Ramos, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., Wei Tang Liu, and Xiu Li. The bill will assist with the establishment of a nationwide Blue Alert system to apprehend violent criminals who have injured or killed police officers or who have made an imminent or credible threat to cause serious injury or death of a law enforcement officer. The bill is named in honor of two New York City Police Detectives who were killed while sitting in their patrol vehicle in Dec. 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed into law a measure to create a nationwide alert system to help catch anyone who hurts, kills or makes credible threats against police officers.

The new system would be similar to the Amber Alerts used to find abducted children.

The bill is named for New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were shot in Brooklyn days before Christmas by a man who later killed himself. Families of the slain officers were on hand to see Obama sign the bill in the Oval Office.

Obama says it’s important for communities to do everything possible to ensure the safety of police officers. He says the alerts could help warn officers when there is an active threat against them.

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