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It was a first for North Dakota and, at the very least, people were confused when a Blue Alert alarm sounded on their cell phones Thursday afternoon. The alert quickly raised the anxiety level for many throughout the state who had no idea what was happening or if any sort of danger was imminent.

The alarm was followed a minute later by a second alert that offered a short, but incomplete explanation and directed people to a website for further information. That website quickly crashed, further adding to public concern.

Cecily Fong, public information director for the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, said her department was conducting several reviews of the Blue Alert system on Friday.

the most critical piece we didn get right. There was nowhere for people to go, said Fong. whole process is under review. to Fong, the website people were directed to in the second alert crashed suddenly under the deluge of hits.

a security system in place on that website. There were too many hits and therefore a denial of service, explained Fong. appeared like hackers were attacking. There is kind of a whole host of issues with our first Blue Alert. Thursday. The activation was requested by the Bismarck Police Department. Thursday Bismarck PD was assisting Parole and Probation officers in the 3200 block of Montreal Street when a male suspect attempted to run over a police officer while fleeing in a vehicle.

The officer fired a weapon at the suspect, identified as Ulises Villalobos. The vehicle he was driving was later recovered in Bismarck and it was determined Villalobos had escaped the area. goes through a review process by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Highway Patrol is part of the process but it is the BCI that gives the go ahead. They felt statewide eyes or awareness would help them find this guy more quickly. the public initial confused reaction to the alert, in the end, it worked. According to Brookings police, Villalobos was bleeding from a gunshot wound to the arm. medical center for treatment. Friday and was scheduled for a court appearance on a charge of from justice Friday afternoon.

Police have not clarified whether or not Villalobos was the subject they were seeking prior to the Thursday morning incident or whether or not they had apprehended an accomplice that was believed to have driven Villalobos to South Dakota.

North Dakota is one of 29 states that have implemented the Blue Alert system, having done so March 25, 2015.

virtually the same as an Amber Alert, said Fong. was definitely a first. It was not an easy decision to make. You don want to panic the public. initial Blue Alert directed the public to turn to broadcast media for further information. However, information crawling on some television screens indicated that it was a test of the Emergency Activation System. The National Weather Service actually activates the system, much like it would do in the event of a weather emergency.

many different codes for what the alert is, said Fong. could be civil unrest, an Amber Alert or something else. On their end stations have to program codes into the EAS machine. said that one of the items being discussed in the aftermath of the state first Blue Alert is how to make it more effective and complete, such as finding ways to better connect with social media. The WEA system, which stands for Wireless Emergency Alerts, is a Federal system used for Blue Alerts. It was that system which sounded on cellphones throughout the state Thursday afternoon.

have that system but it is limited to the number of characters you can send out, said Fong.

Fong said her office several hours of fairly robust media contact on Thursday in the aftermath of the Blue Alert, indicative of the need for further clarification of the system that caught many people by surprise. Many of the issues of concern were already being discussed amongst state officials on Friday.

According to the Blue Alert Foundation, headquartered in Venice, Fla., the Blue Alert system is to be used to help law enforcement in the speedy apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously injure local, state, or federal law enforcement officers or if there is an imminent and credible threat that an individual intends to cause the serious injury of death of a law enforcement officer.
brown mulberry purse Blue Alert confused many