Cell Phone Warning System?

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, April 19, 2007

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi says cell phones are ubiquitous on college campuses.

 “Easily 90% of the students are carrying a cell phone in their pocket, on their belt or in their backpack.”

That’s why he wants to create a cell phone warning system:

“The cellular companies can receive a message from the office of emergency services, or even the local police department, contact everybody – the message is, stay in your room, lock your door, shooter on campus.”

The message would be broadcast to all cell phones in an area, via a text or voicemail message, and could include instructions on what to do in the emergency.  He says it could be used for other natural disasters, too.  Garamendi says he’s spoken with some cellular companies, who have indicated with the right protocol, it’s possible.  In other areas where similar systems have been considered, people have raised concerns about false warnings or hoaxes.