ST. LOUIS (KMOX)Missouri’s ‘Blue Alert’ law takes effect later this month, but would it have helped catch the suspect in the shooting death of a western Missouri police officer this week?

Thirty-seven-year-old officer Gary Michael, of Clinton, Missouri, died and suspect Ian McCarthy was captured.

“The tip that we got from the person driving by who had seen the suspect’s picture, saw this person walking down the road and then called in,” says Capt. John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Hotz says getting a suspect description out to the masses quickly is essential. The Blue Alert system would do that, and getting the law passed was a priority of new Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

“We really need to step forward and let our law enforcement brothers and sisters know that, not just their governor, not just leaders, that our entire state has their back, that we’re watching their six,” says spokesman Parker Briden.

The Blue Alert law takes effect August 28, and also toughens the penalties for assaulting a law enforcement officer.

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