Chief: Police working to make CodeRed System most effective

Frankie Hademenos
Frankie Hademenos

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Morgan Chesky - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Thousands of East Texans got an unexpected wake up call after a woman went missing from a Tyler nursing home.

After disappearing from Mel Rose Nursing Center in Tyler, Frankie Hademenos was found Wednesday morning with her family in White Oak.

Nurses checked on Hademenos Tuesday night around ten, but when they returned at midnight she was gone. Mel Rose officials say they immediately searched every room and the surrounding area before reporting Hademenos missing two hours after her disappearance.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time, when things like this happen, it's because a resident goes into a different room and lay down so when somebody goes into a room and she's not there that's what they assume," said Larry Awofeso, with the Mel Rose Nursing Center. "If a need arises where we need to change something, we may but at this point everything is still under investigation."

Many of you found out about the search for Ms. Hademenos as it was happening through an early morning phone call.

Police used their CodeRed System warning to spread word of her disappearance. In the process a few thousand too many people were notified. The phone calls went out well before the sun came up.

Tyler Police started using the communication network two years ago as a quick way to share critical information with others.

People sign up for the system, which can call thousands of homes in minutes, warning them of tornadoes or in this case a missing person.

Tyler Police say they decided to use code red to notify people within a one mile radius of the nursing home.

The mistake came when the operator put in a ten mile radius...calling 30 thousand homes instead of an estimated 1300.

"I would think just if they had given people until seven o'clock to start making those automated phone calls, people would pay attention to it for one thing," said Carol Barrios, who answered the early morning call.

"Being away in north Tyler really wasn't an appropriate practical application and especially at that time of morning and that type stuff, but we're going to review that, look at it, and do a better job next time," said Chief Gary Swindle, with the Tyler PD.

Despite the error, Tyler Police say in case of emergencies, CodeRed is one of the best ways to warn you.

If you would like to sign up for the warning system, click here.

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