The Cowlitz County Department of Emergency Management was asked to activate the county’s Emergency Community Notification System (ECNS) to warn nearby residents of the SWAT activity at 38th and Oak Street in Longview yesterday afternoon. ECNS is a reverse-911 system that allows emergency officials to send a recorded emergency message directly to the residents of an affected area via landline phones. If you do not have a landline phone, you are able to register your cell-phone or VOIP phone by clicking on the “Alert Cowlitz County” icon on the right-hand side of the screen and following the prompts.
The emergency call went out at approximately 2:30 p.m. to 301 residents of 38th Avenue and the surrounding area. A pre-recorded message alerted residents that there was a SWAT incident in progress and to stay in their homes until further notice. Residents were advised that police were on-scene and certain roads were closed. A second call an hour later advised residents that the incident was over, roads would be reopened and it was safe to exit their homes.
This is the first time that ECNS has been used in an active SWAT incident in Cowlitz County.