Contract signed for MARCO Alert System

The government yesterday signed a $1.9 million contract with Multimedia Technologies Limited for the implementation of the MARCO Alert System.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames described the signing as “a very, very important day”.

“… This system goes beyond just putting up alerts on missing persons,” he said.

“You will come to find out that this system is timely especially as we approach the hurricane season because what it does really is it’s a warning system. We have our captain from NEMA  (National Emergency Management Agency) who we have representing. They will have certainly an opportunity to make full use of this system and that’s what is so special about it.

“As you could recall, I believe it was in 2019 that we signed a contract with Multimedia to erect these billboards – and we have four today – across New Providence at a cost of some $2.7 million.  That was the beginning of the birth of the MARCO Alert system.”

Dames said the system has been functional.

He noted that he recently passed a billboard that had a missing person alert on it.

“The system, when it was initially installed, was limited because if you as citizen did not view it, the boards that are strategically placed across New Providence, then you would not know who those persons are who are currently missing,” Dames said.

“So, what we are doing here today is we’re about to sign a contract in the amount of $1,924,162.42. What that allows for is this public warning alert system and so we will be acquiring additional software and licenses that will now give us the ability to send notifications across this nation at a moment’s notice.”

The MARCO Alert System is expected to be similar to the U.S. Amber Alert system, which is a voluntary partnership involving law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies and the wireless industry to activate an urgent bulletin in child abduction cases.

It is named for Marco Archer, 11, who was kidnapped near his home and later murdered in September 2011.

Police found his naked body dumped in bushes a week after he vanished while running an errand for his mother.

Yesterday’s signing took place on what would’ve been Marco’s 21st birthday.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling,” Marco’s sister, Tancia Humes, told reporters.

“Unfortunately, we lost Marco for this to happen. We’re grateful that it’s finally coming to end and it will be in place where other kids could be saved and everyone else could benefit, their families can benefit.”

Marco’s sister said the implementation of the system means Marco did not die in vain.

She said the loss of her brother is “still sad and it hurts to think about it”.

“This right now just puts you right back to that place but, again, I could smile and we could be grateful to see that something good came,” Humes said.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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