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Ascension Parish residents praise sheriff's office alert system

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GONZALES - Residents in Ascension Parish praised their sheriff's office's actions after a man wanted in Georgia broke loose from a deputy trying to arrest him last night.

Deputies re-arrested the man, Ricardo Rodriguez, Tuesday afternoon. He's wanted for sex crimes out of Georgia. The sheriff's office said Rodriguez broke loose of the deputy's hold after he was stopped in the area of Airline Highway and Highway 74, and took off running with his hands still cuffed behind his back. 

People who live nearby say it took just minutes for them to find out what had happened, because the sheriff's office sent out voice calls, texts and emails alerting residents of what happened.

"We're trying to find the best tools out there that would alert the public to what is going on in a quick fashion and with accurate information," said Lt. Col. Bobby Webre. "And hopefully get a response from them if they knew anything going on in the area."

APSO uses a system called First Call to notify residents. The alert went to people living within two miles of where Rodriguez escaped.

"It really gave me a sense of confidence and showed the care they have for the parish," said parish resident John Bell. "I think it's a win-win."

The calls automatically go out to landlines, but people can register online to have it send the message to their cell phone or email address.

If you would like to register, visit the First Call website for Ascension Parish.

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