When an armed ex-convict reportedly broke into a Kettering home today, police issued a Code Red to alert residents to the potentially dangerous situation.
“It’s an alert that will issue a voicemail to everybody in a certain radius that we can designate to let them know of a scene,” said Kettering Police Officer John Jung.
The break-in was reported this morning in the 3800 block of Endover Road in Kettering. Shortly after, Southdale Elementary on West Dorothy Lane was placed on lockdown as officers canvassed the area for Wesley Gates, 30, who was recently released from a 12-month prison sentence.
Gates was later found in the backyard of a home on the block and was taken into custody, police said.
The Code Red communicated information about the suspect to neighbors in the area, Jung said.
“We give a description … and a brief narrative of what happened and let everyone know to just be on the lookout, stay safe and be vigilant,” he said.
Kettering is one of several area communities that use the Code Red system as part of the Miami Valley Communications Council. Other communities include Centerville, Germantown, Kettering, Monroe, Miamisburg, Moraine, Oakwood, Springboro, Washington Twp., West Carrollton, Lockland and Silverton.
Residents of these communities are encouraged by authorities to enroll for the alerts. A list of local communities using the alerts and links to their sign-up pages is available on the MVCC website. Residents in Huber Heights can sign up on the city website.
In addition to the Code Red system, communities use other systems such as Hyper-Reach and Everbridge. Examples of notifications are a boil advisory, chemical spill, escaped prisoner, missing person, evacuation and inclement weather.
In 2012, as use of the Code Red and similar systems became prevalent, the Dayton Daily News found the average annual cost to counties for such programs was $22,490. The newspaper found much of the cost was paid by grants and fees collected by municipalities with access to the systems.
NewsCenter 7’s John Bedell contributed reporting.