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DPS trying to find right balance with CodeRED

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SIKESTON -- Issuing warnings for emergencies is a balancing act.

Sikeston Department of Public Safety officials are doing their best to provide timely alerts for actual emergencies while not putting out false alarms, according to Sgt. Jim McMillen, public information officer for DPS.

"We don't want to overuse the CodeRED alert system and have people develop a sense of complacency but we don't want to wait until it's too late," McMillen said. "We're doing the best we can to find that middle ground."

While that is the goal, things don't always work out as planned. An alert issued for a severe storm Wednesday is the most recent example of that.

"By the time we got it through, the sky was clear and people were scratching their heads," McMillen said.

The system itself is very fast, he said.

"The CodeRED System was purchased by the city of Sikeston a couple of years ago because of its ability to notify thousands of people in a short amount of time," McMillen said. "It does a great job."

The decision to issue the alert, however, was not made fast enough to beat Wednesday's fast-moving storm.

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