Police Push ‘Reverse 911’ Enrollment in Marshfield, Mass.

Two-way communication during an emergency event is what public safety officials are advocating for with the so-called CodeRed program.

by James Kukstis, Wicked Local South/Mariner / October 25, 2018

(TNS) —  In emergency scenarios, Marshfield, Mass., police not only want residents to be able to reach them, but for them to be able to reach residents. To ensure safety during such scenarios, Police Chief Phil Tavares is urging residents to sign up for the CodeRed program.

The program, also known as "reverse 911," allows public safety officers to notify registered residents of important information in ongoing situations by phone call or via text message.

In Marshfield, 13,438 people have their home and cellphone numbers registered with Code Red. In the event of the system being utilized, Tavares said it takes between five and six minutes for each registered user to receive notification.

"In the event of something major happening, we can get something out rapidly," Tavares said.

Tavares said it is only used in emergency situations.

"We don't use it very often, but we will use it in the event of any major storms that people should be aware of, if there's a missing person, whether it be a child or someone with dementia, or even a suspect," Tavares said. "Any emergency type information, we'll use that for."

The system allows authorities to send a message out to only a specified area, if necessary.

Following the murder of Shana Warner on Route 3A on Monday, Sept. 24, authorities used the technology to notify residents three times.

"There's a lot of moving parts involved and there's an awful lot to think about when you have something like that happen, so we try to get this out as fast as possible," Tavares said. "Sometimes it might not happen immediately, but it will happen as fast as we can possibly get the information out there."

Tavares said information residents use to register will be used only for this notification system.

"I believe that it's a very important piece of technology that we utilize here in town," he said. "I encourage everybody to sign up for it and spread the word."

©2018 Wicked Local South/Mariner, Marshfield, Mass. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.