Denison unveils new emergency alert system

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DENISON,TX -- A new emergency alert system is helping law enforcement get the word out quicker.

Whether it's natural disasters like tornadoes, or emergencies like school lock downs; Denison's new alert system will warn residents within minutes.

"We can make multiple calls. We can use it for infrastructure. We can use it for public announcements," said Bill Ray.

The 8,000 dollar "Blackboard Connect" system, paid for out of the city's budget, has been in use since April.

It replaces the city's "Code Red" system, which will be discontinued in October.

Assistant Fire Chief Bill Ray says Blackboard Connect allows first responders to alert residents to more types of emergencies, and there's no limit to the number of calls that it can make.

It's important to note that Grayson County's Code Red system, which has been in operation since 2009, will remain in place and operational countywide. Denison's Blackboard Connect will be used in conjunction with it, to serve Denison residents.

"You can go in and add your cell phone number. You can add your email address. You can get a text; however you choose to receive that," said Ray.

Just log on to

Put in your info, then indicate how you'd like to be alerted.

Besides emergency situations, the system will also warn residents of water leaks, power outages and street closures.

All of which Police Lt. Mike Eppler says are helpful for the public to know about.

"There would be many days, if not every day, where there would be an opportunity to get some information out; not always something that's critical, but it could just be some good information for the public to know," said Mike Eppler.

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