Red Alert Program Helps Find Missing Child - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Red Alert Program Helps Find Missing Child


LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW) - A computer program called "Code Red" assisted the La Crescent Police Department locate a missing child Friday morning. 

The program allows dispatch centers of law enforcement to send out phone calls to homes in the community alerting them of a missing person.  Dispatch is also able to choose what areas to send the alerts out to.

The child ran from a family member and went missing for almost three hours.  Police searched for the child for about a half hour before sending out the alert.  Once the alert was put out, police were able to locate the child below a wooded area in the north of town.

"We put out the red alert through dispatch and when that happened, the switchboard for dispatch basically lit up with many different phone calls from different residents that reported seeing that child with that description of clothing, wandering through yards, etc..  And with the public's help, we were able to find that child and get that child reunited," says La Crescent Police Chief Todd Nelson.

The code red system also alerts residents of evacuation orders, boil water notices and other alerts in addition to missing child notifications.  Residents can sign up to receive code red alerts for their cell phones by visiting the Houston county web site at

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