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New alert system in the works for all of Shelby County

Emergency Management, Memphis Fire Department, and other agencies came together to create the emergency alert system.

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — A new alert system is underway for multiple cities as Memphis hit the two-week mark of the mobile mass shooting. During the shooting spree, many Memphians were concerned that there was no way for the city to send out a mass alert to warn people.

Shelby County’s Deputy Administrator of Emergency Management, Charles Newell, said multiple agencies are in the introductory phase of creating a new system.

“We’re in the exploratory phase right now of looking at a system that would encompass the entire Shelby County,” Newell said. “Which includes Memphis, Germantown, Bartlett, and all the municipalities.”

Deputy Newell said the mobility of a criminal makes the alert system even more crucial.

“Criminals now are mobile, so they may be in Memphis right now but then they may be in Germantown shortly thereafter. So it’s vitally important that we get a cohesive message out to all of the county of Shelby in an emergency situation,” Newell said.

The system would be made up of multiple alerts keeping citizens aware of any information they could need to stay safe.

“It would not only be for something of a criminal nature, but also maybe weather, terroristic act – anything that the citizens of Shelby County need to be on alert for in an emergency situation,” Newell said.

Though the county-wide alert system is still in the experimental stages, emergency management and the fire department said they want the system up and running as quickly as possible. Given how the government budget works, that could mean sometime next year.

Aside from the University of Memphis going on lockdown, no one else got an official alert of what was going on. If a person wasn’t active on social media to receive updates from the Memphis Police Department’s Twitter and Facebook, they seemed to be left in the dark as well. This new alert system is meant to prevent that lack of communication from ever happening again.

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