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MU police talk about new phone call alert system

Campus police are speaking out about the MU alert system that has some people upset. An alert was sent out around 3:30 Sunday morning after an armed robbery report.

Capt. Brian Weimer with the police department said they’ve had several people express their frustration with the early morning phone call. It came from a number, not even police have, because it’s a third party line.

Now, the biggest concern for police is making sure people don’t cancel the alert system. ABC 17 News asked Weimer if they have seen an increase in people signing up for the alert or taking the alert off since the incident.

“Well, since this happened we’ve had some people express that they want to take it off, and that’s why I want to encourage them not to, because you also realize that’s how you would get information for closings and those types of things,” said Weimer.

On top of the robocall, University of Missouri police sent out a text message and an e-mail.

“We are not going to use the phone service in the future unless it’s something we can clearly articulate or believe that would drastically help to do that, so in the future it won’t happen,” said Weimer.

He said the reason behind the phone call was because of some of the people who signed up for the alert don’t have text or e-mail capabilities.

“We are limited to 140 characters due to that text message and that includes spaces and everything. We can’t get a lot of information in there real quickly,” said Weimer.

Weimer said the alert was sent out because the suspect had a gun and was a threat to the community and wanted to get the word out as quickly as possible, in case students were in the area.

Columbia police are still looking for the suspect. The description is a tall black man in his late 20s with a heavy build.

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