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What is a Blue Alert? Arizona DPS has the answer.

There are Amber and Silver alerts, but what exactly is a Blue Alert? Here's what it means.

PHOENIX — If you were in the Phoenix area this afternoon around 12:30, chances are you received an alert on your phone.

The alert was called a “Blue Alert” and it was expected to be in effect until 11:38 p.m. But what exactly is a Blue Alert?

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety website, the Blue Alert is   a notification system meant to provide immediate information to the public. These alerts are issued and coordinated using various resources following a violent attack upon a law enforcement officer.

The main purpose of the Blue Alert is to help protect the public and law enforcement officers by providing disseminating information that hopefully results in a quick and safe apprehension of suspects when these crimes occur. 

RELATED: Blue Alert issued after DPS troopers shot at by person with assault rifle in Phoenix

A Blue Alert has been issued after DPS troopers were shot at this morning in Phoenix. After the incident, the alert was sent, notifying people in the Valley of the public safety alert.

MORE: Get 'Up to Speed' this morning.