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Levy: Missing Child Reunited with Parents Using Suffolk County CodeRED System

Thu, Aug 18, 2011

News, Suffolk

Emergency callout system notifies residents of emergency situations

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Parents Received Alert and were Reunited with Child at 4th Precinct

Hauppauge, NY – Suffolk Executive Steve Levy was joined by Police Commissioner Richard Dormer today in announcing a successful reunion between a wandering 2-year-old boy and his parents through the use of the county’s CodeRED emergency notification system.

Click here to listen to the Code Red message

“The diligent efforts of our police department and the innovative use of the county’s CodeRED state-of-the-art system reunited two parents with their missing child in a matter of hours,” said Levy, noting that the youngster had apparently made his own way out of the family’s front door in the early-morning hours. “While this story had a happy ending for all involved, let it serve as a cautionary tale for all parents with infants or toddlers to child proof doors and windows, as well as hazards that are within reach.”

According to Dormer, a passing motorist located the child walking in the area of Townline and Dorchester roads in Smithtown at 1:38 a.m. The motorist took the child into safety and contacted the police department, which took the youngster into care at the Fourth Precinct facility. After a police canvass of the area was unable to locate the child’s parents, an emergency telephone notification was made to about 1,200 homes within a half-mile radius, using CodeRED (audio file is attached).

Within minutes of the CodeRED alert being issued, a family member of the child had received one of the emergency alert calls and contacted police, who then reunited the parents with their child.

Under Levy’s direction, FRES secured a federal grant of $137,000 in 2010 to contract with the Emergency Communications Network to license CodeRED, which delivers customized phone, e-mail and text messages directly to Suffolk County residents and businesses. The CodeRED system incorporates a mapping tool that allows Suffolk emergency managers to send notifications to specific geographic areas by selecting them on a map. In addition, CodeRED can be used to send notifications to predefined geographic areas such as villages, townships or zip codes.

Levy said he is encouraged that to date, more than 17,600 Suffolk residents have signed up for the free CodeRED service. “I encourage all Suffolk residents to do the same,” he added, “so that they, too, may receive fast-breaking and potentially life-saving information.”

To sign up, residents may go to:
http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/departments/firerescue/Office%20of%20Emergency%20Management/CodeRED.aspx.

Persons without Internet access may call the Office of Emergency Management’s Customer Service Center at 631-852-4900, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, to supply contact information over the phone.

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