Code Red Could Get Green Light

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

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Code Red is described as a "reverse 911" system. Instead of residents calling in an emergency, Code Red would allow city and county officials to telephone residents en masse.

Meridian homeland security director Bunky Partridge described how it works to the City Council.

"Say you have a hazardous materials spill on the interstate and it's over in the Tuxedo community, right on the interstate there. It would just call the Tuxedo community saying 'you must evacuate'," said Partridge. "And it will call up to 1,000 calls a minute."

"If you have a child missing around Meridian High School, it will locate a radius, whatever you want, to let them know that a child is missing," said Partridge.

Partridge said the cost is $15,000 for a two-year contract, or $7,500 per year for the software. He suggested the city and county each pay half.

Ward 1 councilman, Dr. George Thomas, said Meridian residents would be unfairly burdened paying half of the county's $7,500, as county residents, and all of the city's $7,500.

"I'll vote to spend $15,000 in the city," said Thomas. "I'm not going to vote to spend $7,500, if it's going to be county wide. I'll tell you that up front. As a county resident I've already paid my part of the $15,000."

Ward 3 councilwoman Barbara Henson endorsed the plan.

"I think it's worthwhile. I don't like that setup with the lopsided paying thing because we are county residents, but I think it's worthwhile and I'll be for it," Henson said.

Code Red will come before the supervisors for their approval at the next meeting Feb. 22.

Chief Meteorologist Josh Johnson comments on this system

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