Johnson Co. sheriff mulls countywide alert system

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JOHNSON COUNTY – An Indiana sheriff is exploring the possibility of a countywide alert system that would warn residents if severe weather rolls through or a dangerous criminal is on the loose.

Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said a text alert system is in place, but only about 500 people receive alerts. He’s considering a system that would compile local landline phone numbers and send out alerts in the case of a potentially dangerous situation that demands widespread notification.

Cox said the county could use the system in cases of severe weather or to warn residents of dangers posed by nearby crimes like break-ins or manhunts. He cited the recent manhunt in California for fugitive Christopher Dorner as an example.

Such a system would cost up to $35,000 a year to maintain. Cox said it’s possible other departments could pool their resources to maintain the service and spread out the cost. People with cell phones could submit their numbers to sign up. Residents could also opt out if they wanted.

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