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Phone system alerts residents to runaway boy again

5 years ago October 30, 2009 Oct 30, 2009 Friday, October 30 2009 Friday, October 30, 2009 11:51:05 AM CDT in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Dana Hackett

A Baton Rouge boy who ran away from home twice in the span of 24 hours last month, ran away from home again on Thursday.

Despite 12-year-old Sharkmen Cox's runaway history, the sheriff's office implemented the Smart Ring Call Alert System to find him.

Cox went missing Thursday morning, when he was last seen riding his bicycle to Woodlawn Middle School.  Deputies said he never showed up for school.  He was found around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, at a grocery store on Bluebonnet Boulevard.

Hours before Cox was found, the deputy on the case thought it was in the best interest of the boy to send a phone alert to residents within a seven-mile radius of where he was last seen.

Bart Cox, Sharkmen's father, said he did not want the sheriff's office to send out the alert.  Cox said he did not think his son was in harm's way or a threat to anyone.

The sheriff's office says it makes the decision on its own.

A phone alert was sent to thousands of residents a month ago, when Cox went missing the first time.

The sheriff's office plans to revamp its procedures for sending out an alert.  Now, the sheriff or a top-level supervisor will have to approve the call.

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