CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — On Sunday, police were combing the woods of the Francis Carter Memorial Preserve in Charlestown for a man who shot and killed a woman in North Attleboro.
Town officials said they alerted nearby residents to stay inside during the search, but some claim they never received that message.
“It was a little worrisome that I wasn’t on the list, or I wasn’t contacted,” Charlestown resident Tom Langlois said.
According to Charlestown’s Emergency Management Agency Director Kevin Gallup, anyone with an address within two miles of where the suspect’s car was found should have received an alert.
“It was more to let people know it wasn’t a good idea to have your kids out in the yard playing at that time,” Gallup explained.
Langlois said he lives within that radius, but his family doesn’t use their landline phone much anymore.
He said the voicemail is full and they rarely check the messages. Instead, he said his family relies on their cell phones.
“It is a sign of the times,” Langlois said.
Gallup said the problem is when the town got the alert system years ago, many residents who opted into the program registered home phone numbers with it. Those registered numbers may be ones they no longer have or use.
“It looked like a lot of landlines that had been in the system weren’t active anymore,” Gallup said.
Gallup said the system uses whatever phone number is registered with the address to send out alerts.
The phone number listed with the address can be changed on the town’s website. He said the weekend incident serves as a good reminder for people to update it with a number they regularly use.
“it’s important that the town has the ability to message you as quickly as possible and keep people informed,” Gallup said.
Gallup said the town is looking at expanding the capabilities of their alert system.