Automated call system alerts thousands - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Automated call system alerts thousands

 By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)- Tuesday morning began like any other at the Boyz Barbershop in Columbus. Then, just after 8:00 am, this business and many others got the startling automated call from the city.

 "When I first got the phone call it sort of shocked me and then I listened to it, they said it so many times that you had to hear it"

Barber Tony Brundidge was stunned to find out that an armed and dangerous fugitive was on the loose, nearby in Columbus. Looking back, a day later, he's thankful for the alert system.

"It was very descriptive about what the problem was, they didn't beat around the bust, it told you what the alert was about," Brundidge said.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says that the city purchased the piece of cutting edge technology two years ago.

"It's one of the first times we've used it and certainly the first time we've used it for something so incredibly significant and concerning and alarming to the citizens," Tomlinson said.

It all happens inside the Columbus government center. Specialists stand in the ready, waiting for the call to put the emergency notification system into action. Calls went out to businesses and homes.  But for many who only have a cell phone, you only got the call, if you were subscribed to the system.

"What people need to do is call in at 311 or go to columbusga.org and sign up for the service," Tomlinson.

In light of yesterdays tragic incident the men at this barber shop say it's good to know that the city's looking out for everyone.

"I think it helps out the public a lot it may have prevent a number of people from getting hurt," owner Shannon Buckner said.

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