POSTED: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 5:05pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 5:58pm
The City's emergency alert system accidentally called thousands
5:50 in the morning is when Tyler's emergency alert system, "Code Red" called almost the entire city.
The emergency? A missing elderly woman.
The system is supposed to call Tyler residents based on how close they are to the emergency, which on Wednesday was supposed to be 1 mile.
But the Tyler Police Chief says the system ended up calling homes within a 10 mile radius.
Chief Swindle says the police department got a lot of complaints about the call, and some people want their names taken off of the call list.
"What we're trying to emphasize is certainly we apologize for it, but don't let this be a marker for you to take your name out of the system because there could be a natural gas leak, there could be a hazmat spill, a tornado, or a storm coming and this is a way for us to warn you about the dangers coming," Police Chief Gary Swindle said.
Many people we talked to were flat-out angry about the phone call. Don Killingsworth didn't pick up the phone Wednesday morning, so the alert system called him again. But he's sympathetic to the nature of the call.
"I got so mad again I picked up the phone to find out who the heck was calling and it was that automated warning about the lady who'd wandered away and I stopped being angry after that because my mother's going into some extended care and hope they would do the same for her if she happened to wander off as well," Killingsworth said.
The woman was found this morning and the chief says they're working on fixing the system.
To get your number on the Code Red list, visit this the City of Tyler's website and click on the "Code Red" logo to the right of the screen. If you would like your name removed from the call list, call the Tyler Police Department.