The emergency alert system, called CodeRED, was used again in Ada County on Saturday when police fatally shot Benjamin Barnes in the Boise Foothills after he reportedly threatened people with a gun and shot a dog.
The alert system can send messages through an app based on the geographic location of a resident’s cellphone, or through calls or texts to a cellphone or landline at someone’s home. So when Barnes was shot in the Hulls Gulch area, an alert went out to those nearby who subscribed to CodeRED.
CodeRED can also be used for notifications on evacuations, floods, missing person cases and other criminal activity.
While Ada County dispatch handles sending the CodeRED alerts, fire and police agencies in Boise, Meridian, Garden City, Kuna, Eagle and Star can ask to use the notification system when needed. Ada County sheriff’s deputies, paramedics, emergency management and Idaho State Police also can use CodeRED if needed.
The system can leave voice messages, text messages and emails if residents download the CodeRED Mobile Alert app.
Ada County pays $23,000 a year for the system, funding that comes from the emergency communications fund. That budget is paid for by state 911 fees.
Another example of the system’s use includes the January incident when a man opened fire at a Kuna police officer, said Ada County sheriff’s spokesman Patrick Orr. Neighbors in the area were notified while police searched for the suspect in Kuna.
How can you sign up?
Submit your information at this link for basic text or phone call alerts.