PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – The Armstrong County Jail, where an inmate escaped before allegedly killing a woman, plans to demonstrate an emergency alert system next week.
The (Kittanning) Leader-Times reports Armstrong County officials will demonstrate the $28,000 system Monday though it likely won’t be operational until January.
Thirty-eight-year-old Robert Crissman is awaiting trial on charges he killed Tammy Long at her home near the county jail shortly after escaping July 30.
Long was a mother and grandmother, with 10 brothers and sisters, at the time of her death.
The system designed by Airbus DS Communications in Pittsburgh will alert residents to inmate escapes and other emergencies if they sign up to be notified. The alerts will be sent to residents’ cell or landline phones, or through email or social media.
County officials are still studying whether to also install a siren at the jail to warn of inmate escapes.
The victim’s loved ones have filed suit against Armstrong County and the warden of the jail, David Hogue.
They alleged there was a breakdown in how the system was run , which made it possible for Crissman to escape.
The civil suit, filed in federal court, alleges Crissman had a long criminal history, including drug use and abuse, which should have prohibited him from being a “trustee” at the jail with special privileges.
The suit also argues the county should have had a better notification process for people who lived near the facility.