McDaniel Alert sent out false evacuation, ‘stay in place’ warnings

Campus Safety. (Kyle Parks / The McDaniel Free Press).Campus Safety. (Kyle Parks / The McDaniel Free Press).

Some members of the McDaniel community Thursday night received messages from the McDaniel Alert system warning of a threat to campus. The alert was in fact intended for Pima Community College, an institution in Tucson, Ariz.

Both colleges use Omnilert to host their alert systems.

According to Chief of Police and Director of Campus Safety Eric Immler, some subscribers of the McDaniel Alert system were also connected to that of Pima.

“We discovered that some of our community members who opted in to the system were also linked to a system for the Pima Community College,” he said in an email to the Free Press Friday. “Omnilert has been able to remove the affected phone numbers we identified from the PCC alert system.”

The first alert said there was a threat to Northwest Campus causing police activity, advising people to stay away and follow police instructions.

McDaniel does not have a Northwest Campus.

The second alert provided an update on the “Northwest Campus” that a search was in progress and for those in the area to continue following police instructions.

The third and final alert told people to shelter in place.

Following the series of alerts, Immler sent an email to the College explaining the situation and that they were in the process of figuring out what happened.

“Please be assured that there is no threat or emergency situation on campus,” the email read. “We use a third party service that manages our emergency alert system and we are working with them to determine the issue and ensure that this does not happen again in the future.”

McDaniel has been using Omnilert for more than five years, according to Immler. This is the first issue in that time period, he said.

“We are continuing to work through this with Omnilert to ensure our McDaniel Alert system remains effective for our community,” wrote Immler in his email to the Free Press. “I thank those who were affected by this for their understanding and patience.”

Some Facebook users in the group 2022: McDaniel Parents and Families posted and commented about the alerts Thursday night. Within an hour, Deputy Director of Campus Safety Adam Reid commented that there was no threat and that the issue was being resolved.

You may subscribe to or update your information with McDaniel Alert at mcdaniel.omnilert.net/subscriber.php. Questions should be directed to Campus Safety at 410-857-2202.