You probably received an alert on your phone telling you about the man authorities are looking for in Middle Tennessee. It's called a Blue Alert.

Many people didn't know where police were looking for Steven Wiggins. Some thought it was happening here in the Tennessee Valley including the Hamilton County Sheriff.

The alert interrupted Wednesday's Hamilton County Commission meeting and popped up on phones across the region.

The Blue Alert noted Steven Wiggins being armed and dangerous. It also listed a phone number for the TBI.

Wiggins is accused of shooting and killing Sgt. Daniel Baker from the Dickson County Sheriff's Office. It's the second Blue Alert to go out since the program launched in 2011.

The first was issued in August of 2015 when investigators said Memphis Officer Sean Bolton was shot to death by Tremaine Wilbourn.

The point is to get information to the public so they can help police find those who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers. It's also to assist with finding a missing officer.

The TBI's Criminal Intelligence Unit only has 90 characters to share information. It comes from the same system as the Amber Alert. 

Several factors are considered before a Blue Alert is activated including:

  • A sworn law enforcement officer is killed, sustains life threatening injuries or the officer is missing in the line of duty under circumstances warranting concern for the law enforcement officer’s safety.
  • The suspect(s) pose(s) an imminent threat to public safety and law enforcement personnel.
  • A description of the offender or vehicle is available for statewide broadcast to the public and law enforcement 911 centers.
  • Prior to activation, if the suspect(s) is/are identified, the requesting agency will immediately: Place the suspect in the temporary felon file in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Obtain felony warrants as soon as possible or within 24 hours and enter the offender into NCIC.
  • The head of any Tennessee law enforcement agency, Colonel of the Highway Patrol, Chief, Sheriff or their designee of the investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction requests the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to activate the Blue Alert system.