iALERT Program Aims to Help Residents and Businesses - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

iALERT Program Aims to Help Residents and Businesses

A program designated to spread urgent messages is not gaining many followers



    The City of Irving wants more citizens to sign up for iALERT, a free emergency notification system that can be tailored to each resident or business. (Published Wednesday, March 26, 2014)

    Irving has a high-tech way of spreading breaking news within the city, but not enough people are taking advantage of it.

    Each resident and business owner can customer his or her iALERT program when they sign up so that they only receive information about the topics they are interested in in the specific part of the city they're in.

    Irving launched the program three years, but only about 4,000 people out of the more than 22,000 people who live there have signed up.

    Susan Pigrenet, an Irving resident for 47 years, said she's been getting a lot of useful iALERTS so far.

    "We did have a missing adult in our neighborhood," she said. "And I just recently got one where thieves are stealing the third row seats in vehicles."

    The city's Emergency Management Coordinator Jason Carriere said the program has led to positive results.

    "Several times in the police department we've had some missing children and missing elderly people with dementia where we've utilized the system to the last place they were seen," he said. "Two or three times the individual was actually found as a direct result of the call from the system."

    Detective James McLellan with the Irving Police Department said he wished more people would join and help with their crime-fighting efforts.

    "In the instance of the recent driveway robberies that were ongoing [in Valley Ranch], we were able to tailor a message to a particular neighborhood that we had a couple of instances there and that people should be alert to what's going on," he said.

    Carriere said the city used grant money to help fund the program during its first two years. He said they're now investing more than $35,000 from their general fund to keep it going.