MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG)— The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says it’s working to improve its Blue Alert system after people reported getting multiple emergency alerts, some of them overnight, on their cell phones.
The agency uses audible Blue Alerts to notify the public of incidents in which law enforcement officers have been wounded, similar to the state’s AMBER Alert system for missing children.
TBI sent out two Blue Alerts to mobile users Tuesday, for two separate incidents in Middle Tennessee.
Problem is, that many people got those alerts multiple times, or hours late on Wednesday morning, after the situations had been resolved.
Those people let TBI know they were not happy about that, according to the agency.
“I work nights, the first alert woke me up in the middle of the day. I got one while I was getting ready for work and several during the night. I don’t even want to think about how many people were woken up during the night by these warnings,” one commenter wrote on WREG’s Facebook page.
“I was in a department store and it was very obnoxious. Small children were terrified by it. It was louder than any other alert that has ever come over my phone,” another wrote.
TBI responded on its website Wednesday.
“We’ve heard your frustration – loud and clear – about receiving multiple alerts on your mobile devices when two Blue Alerts were issued on Tuesday, June 28th,” TBI said. “That’s frustrating and inconvenient, for all of us. And for that, we apologize.”
TBI said they did everything correctly on their end, but some users may have received multiple or late alerts due to factors involving their cell service provider, coverage or individual phone’s software or Wi-Fi.
They’re working on making the system better in the future, TBI said.
“We will continue to sharpen our system, with your feedback, as these situations demand our best efforts for the sake of the safety of our state’s communities and its people,” the agency said.