The Missouri State Highway Patrol is Missouri's highest-ranking law enforcement agency. It was launched a few years after the creation of the United States Numbered Highway System. Long before the formation of the Interstate Highway System.

The Patrol's jurisdiction stretches throughout the entire state. Among its tasks is to regularly test emergency alert systems to make sure they operate as they should. A recent example of this has led the agency to clarify.

Unintentionally sends out an alert for the Joker

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has retracted a recent message.

One that was recently sent out to many mobile devices in Missouri. People who received it might have thought they needed to look out for a certain vehicle.

In this particular case, a 1978 Dodge 3700 GT. Colored purple and green, featuring a license plate stating "UKIDME". The car in question might seem familiar to movie and comic book enthusiasts. That's because it was used in the 1989 movie "Batman." Based on the D.C. Comics character of the same name. The title character's archenemy, the Joker, uses a car matching the description.

No, it seems, the Joker hadn't gone on the lam in Missouri. Apparently, the message wasn't meant to go out to the general public. Rather, it was meant to be an internal test for a Blue Alert.

A codename that's typically invoked when a law enforcement officer has been attacked.

According to a subsequent statement from Missouri State Highway Patrol, an incorrect option was selected. Instead of being kept within the agency, the message was disseminated to the public.

The message also indicated that the non-existent incident happened in Gotham City, Missouri.

That municipality also doesn't exist but clearly seems to reference Batman/Bruce Wayne's native city. There is, however, a different entity by the name of "Gotham City, Missouri." This is actually a solar energy company located in Wildwood, Missouri, near Saint Louis.

It's not the first time a major government agency has accidentally ensnared comic books into their operations.

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had Wakanda listed as a trading partner. Authorities later claimed it was listed as part of a website test and was mistakenly left up. The country of Wakanda doesn't actually exist. But in film and literature, it is the home of Marvel's Black Panther. According to lore, it's also a hotbed of the fictional superstrength metal vibranium, which was used to create items such as Captain America's famed shield.

Jack Nicholson played the Joker in the 1989 movie

The 1989 movie version introduced Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, and Batman's alter ego. Other cast members included Jack Nicholson as the Joker. The movie was a critical smash hit and was the second-highest-grossing movie of the year.

It received recognition from the Oscars for its art direction. Nicholson was nominated for a Golden Globe.

The Joker is arguably the most iconic comic book supervillain in history. He's been the foil of other D.C. characters, such as Superman and Wonder Woman. But his storied rivalry with Batman is his most well-known.