DAVIS (CBS13) — UC Davis officials say their emergency warning system failed last week when a barrage of bullets was fired just blocks from campus. Fewer than one-third of the campus community received an urgent electronic warning to shelter in place when Officer Natalie Corona was shot.
Minutes after Corona was gunned down last Thursday, there were reports that the shooter was seen on campus and an emergency shelter in place warning was supposed to be sent to the entire school.
“We wanted to ensure people were safe,” said the school’s Director of Emergency Management, Clement Stokes.
But that didn’t happen because the night of the incident they had “challenges in delivering messages to the larger community.”
Stokes said the campus notification didn’t work because technology is not perfect and said, “we are treating this as if it was a human error.”
For the last five years, the university has contracted with a private vendor to operate the “warn me” system, which sends out email and text alerts to the 72,000 members of the campus community in an emergency.
“They are vital these are critical capabilities that the university should have in terms of messaging the community,” Stokes said.
In a letter to the university, obtained by CBS13, the vendor Rave Mobile Safety said they take “full responsibility for the fact that not all of the intended recipients received notifications and regrets the position in which it put the university.”
The high-tech system that costs more than $60,000 a year is now under new scrutiny.
“”We expect the systems to work as they are designed, and we are putting in a failsafe so this doesn’t happen again,” Stokes said.
These types of emergency alerts are only issued about six times a year. The last time an alert went out was during the November wildfires, telling the campus community that campus was closed due to the heavy smoke.