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Sikeston installing CodeRED system

Monday, November 3, 2008

DPS can relay information through high-speed telephone commmunications system

SIKESTON --Should there be an emergency in Sikeston, residents can be notified quickly, thanks to a new system installed by the Department of Public Safety.

The "CodeRED" Emergency Notification System is an ultra high-speed telephone communication system that will allow the department to relay vital public safety information to the public, according to a news release from DPS.

For those with children who attend Sikeston Public Schools, the system will be familiar as the district has a similar program in place, noted Sgt. Jim McMillen, public information officer for DPS.

The system installed by DPS is capable of dialing 60,000 telephone numbers in less than an hour delivering a recorded message to residents or their answering machines.

CodeRED is designed to make three attempts to contact a registered telephone number. The notification system can issue a citywide alert or target affected areas of the city by street or block.

According to McMillen, the department plans to use this program to notify the public for a variety of reasons including drinking water contamination, utility outage, evacuation notices and routes, missing persons, fires, floods and other natural disasters, bomb threats, hostage situations, chemical spills or gas leaks and road closures.

"There are many situations where this program would be very beneficial to our residents," McMillen said. "The safety of our citizens is our business. We hope everyone in Sikeston takes advantage of our new CodeRED program."

Sikeston residents can register several of their phone numbers, including cellular phones. They should not assume their phone number is in the system already, especially those with unlisted numbers and those who rely solely on cellular phones.

In the news release, McMillen urged residents to complete the CodeRED community notification enrollment so they will receive emergency notifications.

To register, go to Sikeston's Web page at www.sikeston.org and click the CodeRED link. Information provided will remain completely private and will only be used to notify individuals of critical situations.