What’s the point of sending out a text alert for two missing teenagers if you don’t include a link to their pictures?
First alert on March 28th at 5:34 pm:
This Caroline Alert is being sent authority of Sheriff A A Lippa to all users reference two missing female juveniles being investigated by Caroline County Sheriff’s Office. Please be on the lookout for Breanna Kay-Elizabeth Cleveland, Race/W Sex/F Hgt/507 Wgt/150 Hair/Brown Eyes/Brown DOB/19930323. She was last seen wearing a black shirt and unknown color pants. Unknown direction of travel or where she may be. She is believed to be in the company of Mareena Alane Davis, Race/W Sex/F Hgt/508 Wgt/195 Hair/Brown Eyes/Blue DOB/19931223. Unknown clothing description for this subject. Both were last seen on May 27,2009. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of these subjects, please contact the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office at 804-633-5400.
Alert on March 28th at 6:20 pm:
CAROLINE CO SHERIFFS OFFICE IS LOOKING FOR 2 RUNAWAY JUVS WHO ARE TOGETHER. NAMES ARE MAREENA DAVIS 15 YOA WHITE FEMALE AND BREANNA CLEVELAND 15 YOA WHITE FEMALE. ONLY CALL 804-633-5400 IF YOU KNOW THEIR LOCATION.
Alert on March 30th at 8:20 pm:
Missing juvenile Breanna Cleveland has been located today by Stafford County. The second juvenile Mareena Davis is still missing.
Alert on March 31th at 12:02 am:
The other missing juvenile, Mareena Davis has been located by Stafford County. As stated in previous alert, Breanna Cleveland has also been found.
Sheriff Tony Lippa also sent out an e-mail to the 50 people on his mailing list stating that the teenagers were reporting missing on March 28th at 3:52 pm, after failing to return home from school on the same date. Also included in that e-mail were PDFs of fliers that had been prepared by the Sheriff’s Office which included the missing teenagers’ pictures. While it was good that the first alert was sent within two hours, that e-mail wasn’t sent out until the 29th at 10:34 am, over 18 hours after they had been reported missing.
Right now, according to Interim Director of the Department of Fire & Rescue Mark Garnett, there are 2,072 registered users of the Caroline Alert System. The system cost the county $25,000 back in July 2007 to implement and there’s a yearly expense of $7,500 for continuing usage of the system but there isn’t a fee per alert apparently.
Regardless of whether the sheriff’s office thought there were runaways or not, common sense would dictate that if you have the ability to distribute pictures of two missing teenagers to 2,072 people at no cost, you would use the system for that purpose. To post those PDFs of the fliers or just their pictures, it would take about 30 seconds to upload the fliers and another 30 seconds to send out the alert with links to the viewers or pictures. People with mobile web on their phones would be able to view the picture as would those that access to a computer and their e-mail account. How much time and money would it take to distribute those same fliers to over 2,000 people?