The Reverse 911 system mistakes that occurred during the April 16 officer-involved shooting incident were made by both the Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications and the private company providing the system, according to a city review.

As police were searching for the suspect in Southwest Portland, BOEC used its Community Emergency Notification System to call residents in the area. Instead of warning them to stay inside and report suspicious activity, however, the pre-recorded message said it was the system's weekly test. When BOEC realized the error, it asked First Call, the company providing the service, so send out the right message. Instead, First Call sent out the incorrect message again.

The correct message was not recorded and sent out for another hour, about when police located and arrested the suspect.

According to the review conducted by BOEC and the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, the Dispatch Supervisor who sent out the first message was unclear about which settings to use for custom ones or if it had been sent at all. First Call repeated the error.

City officials say BOEC and PBEM will review all procedures, settings and trainings provided to users of the system, and will work with First Call to streamline the message launch process. The contract with First Call ends this fall and PBEM spokesman Dan Douthit says the city must decide whether to renew or seek another company to provide the service.

Contract Publishing

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