Friday, October 16, 2020

Town of Franklin, MA: Errant Reverse 911 notifications

October 15,2020


(Franklin, Massachusetts): On Sunday October 11, 2020 the Franklin Police Department had an incident in which a Reverse 911 telephone call from the Franklin system was sent. The message asked residents to shelter in place.

As resources arrived on the scene it became clear that many people had not received the message. This could be because the Franklin Reverse 911 system is a an "opt in" system. This means you must sign up to receive notifications.

Given the seriousness of the situation, a man shooting a gun in the open, the risk to innocent people was greatly heightened. Because of this, a second resource from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) was called upon. This system utilizes "Geo Fencing", which attempts to send wireless messages to mobile devices inside a defined area.

For an unknown technical reason, some of these messages were delivered to communities outside of Franklin. This problem is being investigated in the hope of avoiding problems in the future. Safety for the public and officers is at the center of every decision made.

As with all incidents lessons are learned. In the future when utilizing resources from outside agencies, such as MEMA, we will be more specific in identifying the Town, and area effected in the message itself.

We apologize for any worry that was created, and the disruptions to the Police Departments in those communities.

As a reminder to Franklin residents, you may sign up for our alert system here:


Town of Franklin, MA: Errant Reverse 911 notifications
Town of Franklin, MA: Errant Reverse 911 notifications

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