OZAUKEE COUNTY (WITI) -- A man went missing from Thiensville on Sunday night, June 9th, and due to the man's medical conditions, police felt it necessary to send out a reverse 911 call to residents in Ozaukee County, alerting them of the situation. The problem: many of those alerts came in after midnight.
On Monday morning, June 10th, dispatchers at the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office were being flooded with calls.
Wendy Maechtle says the Sheriff's Office used a web-based site to put out an emergency telephone notification after George Mayer wandered from his home on Green Bay Avenue.
"It was 19,000 plus residents that needed to be notified, so the system takes awhile to make notification to all those landlines," Maechtle said.
Many were woken up by the call, and are now questioning the procedure.
"It came in about 10 to midnight and the first thing I thought was 'what happened?' We have a son in a another state and I thought something was wrong," one resident told FOX6 News.
The man officials were looking for, George Mayer, suffers from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and Maechtle says while search teams were out looking for him, Thiensville police thought the alert was necessary.
"The event they found the elderly male in their yard or knocking on their doorbell that time of night," Maechtle said.
Maechtle says residents received calls anywhere from midnight until 2:30 a.m.
"In the case of Thiensville, they wanted it to go to a five-mile radius where the subject was last located," Maechtle said.
Some said they felt too far removed from the incident to have needed a call.
"A fellow using a walker -- we`re a minimum of three miles away from Green Bay Avenue depending on where he was actually located. I kind of wish they had an ability to pinpoint it a little bit better," a resident said.