Early Friday Morning Call

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There are many in town who have reported a call from the Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services (OES) which took place this past Friday morning at approximately 6:20am.  Unfortunately, the call was a missing person report, and even more disheartenening, the elderly man who had gone missing from his Daly City home Thursday evening was found deceased on Friday afternoon in Lake Merced.  Click here for the news article.

You may be wondering, So why the call still, and at such an early hour?  Well for one, the Daly City Police Department alerted the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services to send out a missing person alert utilizing the automated telephone emergency notification system (T.E.N.S.).  This is a separate system from SMC Alert, which is a digital alerting system that will send a text message to cell phones, pagers or email addresses. Residents just need to sign up for SMCAlert, which is a free service except for any texting fees charged by a person’s cell phone service.  In this case, SMC Alert was utilized first, resulting in some residents either getting an e-mail or text, or both, on Thursday evening, and mostly everyone in the community getting the early morning call the next day.  It is not known exactly when the Daly City Police Department made the decision to utilize the T.E.N.S. in addition to SMC Alert, but when they did, it was specified to County OES that the entire region from Hwy 380 north to Daly City be called.  This amounted to an estimated 120,000 telephone numbers. 

The way T.E.N.S. works is that it first creates a table based on the database of telephone numbers provided by the phone companies every two weeks.  After determining which numbers fall within the notification boundaries, the table is sent to the dialing system which begins firing off calls at a rate of 400 per minute.  With 120,000 numbers in the queue, it was going to take at least 6 hours and 40 minutes.  According to Jeff Norris with the Sheriff's OES, every effort was made to shut the system down, but due to the queue of numbers already in the dialing system, which itself has several calling centers across the U.S., including Denver and Cincinnati, there was no way to stop it.  Thus, calls came ringing through in Brisbane early on Friday morning, when there was still hope for missing Jaeson Chon to be found and returned home to his family.

Hopefully, the next time the T.E.N.S. warning system is utilized in an emergency situation, its dissemination capabilities will allow it to reach Brisbane citizens in a timely manner, who can then, and undoubtedly would, do what's necessary to come to the aid of someone in need.


This type of alert should be

This type of alert should be used for life threatening dangers, not a missing person.