GALENA — The Stone County Sheriff’s Department and Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch implemented an alert system for runaways June 1.
Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said the need for an alert system was seen after the murder of a Michigan couple by two runaways from the boys ranch.
“We got this up and going and basically for citizens in the area we’ve got on a list,” Rader said. “(Lives Under Construction) is paying for it and the sheriff’s department is administering it.”
The two juvenile runaways charged in the couple’s murder are currently being tried as adults for the murder of Paul and Margaret Brooks in early 2013.
The two were hiding in a neighboring residence when the murders occurred.
“It was spurred by that event,” Rader said.
He said the system became effective June 1 but had been put to use before that time when a runaway from the boys ranch was reported in late May.
He said the computer system was down, but administrative personnel manually called the residents on the list.
“A deputy would be dispatched and take a report,” Rader said of the alert process. “They would forward it to dispatch and they’ll send out and alert through texts and email.”
Rader said the computer system that had failed during the May incident was brought online the following day.
He said the program was initiated by the sheriff’s office and received support from Lives Under Construction Boys Ranch.