An Integrated Public Alert Warning System message (IPAWS) was being crafted this morning at 10:15 after a 4-year-old boy was located running down Nobel Street in Alcoa. Alcoa Police requested Blount County Emergency Management issue an IPAWS text alert in an effort to find the boy’s parents or guardians.
In consultation with Alcoa Police Department, Emergency Management officials were crafting the message when the software inadverantly sent a Civil Alert test weather message in place of the alert regarding the search for the child’s missing guardian or parent.
After consulting with software engineers, a disregard message was issued at 11:46 a.m.
Blount County Emergency Management regrets any inconvenience or alarm this may have caused. While Emergency Management tests this system regularly, we will be working with our software vendor to determine the cause of the malfunction.
This is a great system that saves lives. The system is put in place for safety of this community to ensure we are doing everything we can to assure the citizens' safety. We are researching the cause of what happened this morning and we are sorry for any inconvenience or alarm this caused.
City of Maryville Note: We understand the child has been reunited with his guardian and is unharmed.