Reverse 911 in use in Warren County

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If something were to happen in your neighborhood, such as a shooting or a person to go missing, how would you know? In Warren County people with listed numbers are called by the Bowling Green police when an emergency occurs.

The police department was one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to get this technology, which is now becoming more and more popular throughout the country. WBKO's Tamara Evans has more on this notification system.

When you hear the phone ring and you start to hear a recording you may be tempted to hang up but don't.

"Because I know we're inundated now with calls from sales calls to campaign calls and things like that, and the natural response is to hang up," Bowling Green Officer Barry Pruitt said.

But think twice before you put your phone down!

"At least listen to the first part of the message because it could be an emergency message."

Since 1997 the Bowling Green Police Department has had a notification system for Warren County called The Communicator.

"(The Communicator) It's an emergency notification system or a reverse 911 system that has the capability of calling a whole lot of people in a very short period of time," Pruitt said.

The system allows the police department to call you for almost any type of situation - from something dangerous going on in your neighborhood to even someone in your area that is missing.

"For instance, when we have a lost child or Alzheimer's patient that's missing we can go in on a map circle an area, and then send out calls saying 'Hey, if you've seen this person, please call the Bowling Green Police Department.'," Pruitt said.

Pruitt also said some of the previous mentioned scenarios have actually happened warranting the use of the calling system, which makes the system helpful for everyone.

"In those first minutes of a crisis, getting information out is very important, but it also frees up manpower where we don't have to have several people individually out having to make those phone calls."

And for those not listed in the phone book to be a part of this system "In the future, you'll be allowed if you have an unlisted phone number or don't have a land-line phone but have a cell phone," Pruitt said. "You can actually be able to register with us so if something happens in your neighborhood that the police think you need to know about. We can call and tell you".

Many college campuses are looking into getting a system like this to contact students and parents when something happens at their school. Also, this type of system is now being utilized in the Wolf Creek Dam area.

To view the City of Bowling Green's web page on the The Communicator click here.