ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - When a new groping incident was reported at the University of New Mexico Monday night, it took more than an hour for some people to receive digital alerts that normally reach them in minutes.
Students and staff did get time alerts by text and e-mail, but the broader community on a separate system was left in the dark about the latest reported groping incident .
At KRQE News 13 the alert time-stamped just before 10:30 p.m. didn't arrive until almost midnight.
Byron Piatt, UNM's emergency manager, said it began with a problem with Twitter.
"So we manually went back and updated Twitter and went back and started watching it, started making sure all social network was working," Piatt told KRQE News 13. "At that point we realized we hadn't sent the community message out."
The community is on a different alert system than staff and students. Piatt says there's no fixing that because students are signed up when the register for class.
Informing staff and students of dangers on campus is the first priority, he added.
Students told News 13 they got the message around 10:40, just 20 minutes after the time stamp. Piatt said it usually takes only 90 seconds to send out 33,000 text alerts.
"There's a difference in when different carriers deliver their messages," he explained. "If your cell phone batter is low or if your signal is at a different strength."
Piatt said all of those factors can contribute to a delay for recipients. Students don't like the delay but say they're just happy to be warned at all.
"It made me feel at least more informed," senior Roberto Mancha said. "That's always a good thing when the university keeps communication going with the students. As long as we're kept in the loop."
UNM plans to run drills to make sure the alert system and those trained to use it are up to date.
Suspects have not been identified or caught in either of the groping cases.
UNM faculty, staff and students are automatically signed up to receive alerts. Others can sign up by visiting the UNM Community Text Messaging website page.
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