Fugitive Killer Alerts Don't Make It On Highway Signs

TxDOT Spokesman Paul Braun
TxDOT Spokesman Paul Braun

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - With Jose Cancino, a suspected killer from Dalhart, possibly making his way down state, we wanted to know why an alert was not put on highway signs for the reportedly armed and dangerous fugitive.

Well, they will not be on there anytime soon, either.

It was hard to get an answer to this question because the Texas Department of Public Safety kept throwing the responsibility of the signs to the Department of Transportation, when really it is DPS's initial responsibility.

The final answer, though, is: the law just does not allow for this kind of alert.

You probably often see the signs alerting Texas drivers to missing children or elderly people, weather conditions, or traffic jams.

But you will not see an alert for a dangerous fugitive on the run.  DPS Spokeswoman Tila Mange says that is because "state law says the signs can be used for amber alerts, silver alerts, or blue alerts."

Blue alerts are for people on the run who injured or killed a law enforcement officers.

The Texas Department of Public Safety writes the alerts for the Texas Department of Transportation.

TxDOT Spokesman Paul Braun says, "the information must come from the Department of Public Safety, who will give the information to our traffic management system in San Antonio and they will decide which districts will put the sign up."

The reason for such strict standards is to make sure the messages are genuine, "so the signs are done the way they're supposed to be, so there are no hoax messages put up there," says Braun.

The DPS spokeswoman says the agency does not want people trying to apprehend a fugitive, another reason those alerts are not on the highway.

Braun also told us today he has never seen an alert on those signs for a fugitive.