Amber Alert

The head of Army disaster response said he’s toying with an “Amber Alert”-style system to warn people on Army bases when there is an active shooter at large. Lt. Gen. Perry Wiggins, head of Army North, said communicating warnings by cellphone makes sense because cellphones “are on your person” and command one’s attention in a way that “big voice” loudspeakers can’t always do, he told defense reporters in Washington, D.C. “It’s a great system for getting information out,” and it is already being used on many college campuses, he said. Amber Alerts notify people in a given area when a child goes missing. The system could cover more people because it would reach beyond base areas, as well. “We’re looking at second- and third-order effects” of instituting such a program, he said. Perry also said he’s wary of making military installations more inaccessible to outsiders, saying that interplay between servicemembers and their communities is important. “People in San Antonio think we’re like Fort Knox,” he said of JB San Antonio, Texas, noting that as a child with an Air Force father, most bases he lived on weren’t even fenced.