CA plan for campus-wide alert systems, in wake of Va. Tech shootings

Could the Virginia Tech shootings have been avoided with better alerting systems? California Lt.

Could the Virginia Tech shootings have been avoided with better alerting systems? California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi thinks so, reports the AP.

Garamendi is talking to cellular telephone companies about establishing a system to alert cell phone users to emergencies on college campuses in California. He said the technology exits to broadcast text and voice alerts to cell phones on and around a campus.

"This system would save lives should a Virginia Tech situation occur at one of our California campuses," he said in a statement issued Thursday.

"This will be like an emergency broadcasting system," Garemendi's spokesman said. "Everyone within range of that (cellular phone) tower will get it." "We really believe this will be a first-line informer," spokesman Norman Williams said. "Because there are so many cell phones, even if you don't have yours with you, two of the three people next to you will have theirs and get the message."

Potentially, if Virginia Tech officials had alerted students about the first shooting on campus and cancelled classes, the 30 people who died in the massacre two hours later could have been saved.

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