Long Island officials announced on Friday the implementation of the Blue Alert system, which will have "all eyes and ears out on the streets" looking for suspects who commit violence against law enforcement officers. NewsdayTV's Cecilia Dowd reports. Credit: Newsday/Drew Singh

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said Friday a new law to help search for assailants who attack police will help track down a gunman like the one who shot his partner nearly 30 years ago.

The new Blue Alert system, which went into effect in New York State last week, will issue statewide alerts about suspects at large involved in police assaults and shootings. New York joins 40 other states which have instituted the systems since the National Blue Alert Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2015.

A measure establishing a Blue Alert system in New York was passed by the State Legislature in June and signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in December. The law sponsored by Assemb. Steve Stern (D-Huntington) and former State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) creates a notification system similar to Amber Alerts or weather warnings on highway digital signs and emergency alerts to phones.

Harrison and his NYPD partner, Michael Stoney, were completing an undercover drug buy in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, when Stoney was shot in the arm and the chest. As he laid on the ground, he returned fire, saving Harrison’s life as Harrison returned fire and forcing the suspect to flee. He was arrested a short time later.

Stoney survived the attack, but still has a bullet lodged in his chest, Harrison said.

“There was a short lapse where we were looking for the individual,” Harrison said in an interview after a news conference in Mineola introducing the law. “Something like this put in place back then and getting information out in a timely manner and having all eyes and ears looking for him could have possibly gotten him into our custody quicker.”

Officials could not explain why the bill had languished in New York for seven years before it was passed by state lawmakers last year.

Attending the news conference Friday were lawmakers and representatives of police agencies from across Long Island and New York City, including Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly, Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney, and Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

Stern said the national Blue Alert bill was named after NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were killed in a December 2014 ambush while they were sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn by a suspect who fled to the subway and killed himself.

“They died as heroes serving all of us,” Stern said.

“Police officers have a special role in our society. And they are prepared to face danger at a moment's notice. They need to know that we have their backs. We want them to go home to their families at the end of their shift,” Donnelly said. “Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts have saved countless lives. Now, we can use that same technology to help catch dangerous criminals who have assaulted police officers and who pose a great threat to our community at large.”

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said Friday a new law to help search for assailants who attack police will help track down a gunman like the one who shot his partner nearly 30 years ago.

The new Blue Alert system, which went into effect in New York State last week, will issue statewide alerts about suspects at large involved in police assaults and shootings. New York joins 40 other states which have instituted the systems since the National Blue Alert Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2015.

A measure establishing a Blue Alert system in New York was passed by the State Legislature in June and signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in December. The law sponsored by Assemb. Steve Stern (D-Huntington) and former State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) creates a notification system similar to Amber Alerts or weather warnings on highway digital signs and emergency alerts to phones.

Harrison and his NYPD partner, Michael Stoney, were completing an undercover drug buy in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, when Stoney was shot in the arm and the chest. As he laid on the ground, he returned fire, saving Harrison’s life as Harrison returned fire and forcing the suspect to flee. He was arrested a short time later.

Stoney survived the attack, but still has a bullet lodged in his chest, Harrison said.

“There was a short lapse where we were looking for the individual,” Harrison said in an interview after a news conference in Mineola introducing the law. “Something like this put in place back then and getting information out in a timely manner and having all eyes and ears looking for him could have possibly gotten him into our custody quicker.”

Officials could not explain why the bill had languished in New York for seven years before it was passed by state lawmakers last year.

Attending the news conference Friday were lawmakers and representatives of police agencies from across Long Island and New York City, including Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly, Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney, and Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

Stern said the national Blue Alert bill was named after NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were killed in a December 2014 ambush while they were sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn by a suspect who fled to the subway and killed himself.

“They died as heroes serving all of us,” Stern said.

“Police officers have a special role in our society. And they are prepared to face danger at a moment's notice. They need to know that we have their backs. We want them to go home to their families at the end of their shift,” Donnelly said. “Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts have saved countless lives. Now, we can use that same technology to help catch dangerous criminals who have assaulted police officers and who pose a great threat to our community at large.”

Oak Beach Osprey nest … New tax breaks for struggling Port Washington development … Paralympic gold medalist Credit: Newsday

Primary: Voters take to the polls ... Nassau homebuying event ... Hampton Bays man drowns ... Paralympic gold medalist

Oak Beach Osprey nest … New tax breaks for struggling Port Washington development … Paralympic gold medalist Credit: Newsday

Primary: Voters take to the polls ... Nassau homebuying event ... Hampton Bays man drowns ... Paralympic gold medalist

Latest Videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME