Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Dane County “Reverse 911” Credited with Locating Missing Mazomanie Boy

March 27, 2009
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

Technology Recently Expanded Allowing More People to be Alerted Faster

Law enforcement officials are crediting recently expanded county technology for helping to locate a 12-year old boy who walked away from Mazomanie Elementary School Thursday. 

A few weeks ago, Dane County greatly increased the capabilities of what’s known as “Reverse 911.”   Under new funding included in the 2009 county budget, additional phone lines and technology were purchased enabling law enforcement, fire, and emergency services to place calls with emergency messages to hundreds of homes per minute. 

“In an emergency, having the ability to get important information to a lot of people in a short amount of time is critical,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said.  “Reverse 911 not only helps our neighborhoods be better prepared, in this case it helped re-connect a boy with his friends and family.”

In Thursday’s incident, 4,340 Reverse 911 calls were placed to homes within 10 miles of the school.  These calls were placed over a period of 20 minutes.  Those calls alerted neighbors to check outside, and the boy was found.

Reverse 911 technology has been used in the past to help locate missing people and even alert citizens to crime trends in their area.  It can also be used to give important information in the event of a chemical spill or other hazard that might necessitate people making preparations or taking precautions.


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