Partner Highlight: Tri-County Communications’ Proactive Measures Help Catch Escaped Inmate.

It did not take long for the City of Mission Police Department and the City of Mission Courthouse in South Texas to appreciate the value of their newly installed duress system. Within five days of having Tri-County Communications and Response Technologies Centurion Elite®, the world’s fastest and most advanced emergency notification system was put to the test, enabling staff and law enforcement to quickly apprehend an inmate who escaped a courtroom.

One morning in May 2019 before court was in session, an inmate who was handcuffed and seated in a courtroom attempted to escape. He got up and ran past the recorder’s bench, out of the back of the courtroom and into to a hallway. There, he entered a judge’s chamber where a judge who was present activated his Centurion Elite® panic button. Within two seconds, the transmission triggered multiple responses: over the radio, on computers using PCAlert®, in the clerk’s office via strobe light, and through a remote receiver that unlocked a door separating the courts for emergency situations.

After exiting the judge’s chamber, the inmate fled to the clerk’s office where staff had also triggered their panic buttons. The inmate then exited the clerk’s office to the outdoors where he continued to flee on foot. After hearing the alert transmitted via radio, police converged on the area where the inmate was fleeing. A detective near the courthouse who heard the duress message saw the inmate and chased him on foot. An officer in a patrol car also joined the chase and law enforcement apprehended the inmate.

The Centurion Elite® system enabled the courthouse staff and law enforcement to quickly apprehend the inmate in the way it was designed to do. “Obviously we wanted an alarm system that would provide us with unique and personalized capabilities to meet specific requirements for our building complex. After much research we elected to purchase the Response Technologies alarm system. It provided us with capabilities to lock and unlock specific doors, initiate visual-only alerts, and provide a ‘dispatched’ call over the radio specific to the type and location of the alarm,” said Robert Dominguez, Mission PD Chief of Police “In retrospect, [given our history] of never having incidents ever occur in the past, it is so ironic that only days after the Response Technologies system was installed, it was put to actual use.”

The team at Tri-County Communications was also surprised by the uncanny timing of the security threat. “I was shocked to hear that the system we just installed was put to use so fast,” said Rick Surratt, General Manager, Tri-County Communications. “I am thrilled that the City made the right decision by putting the lives of public officials and public safety personnel first. Without the modifications that were requested by the Radio and Technology Division, access to the incident would not have been available. The added cost to instantly put the information over the radio system just paid for itself many times over. This is an excellent example of great customer and service provider cooperation.  I was happy to be a part of it,”

Key Learnings

  • A proactive measure: Police were able to quickly engage this convict because of a duress message that called them into action.


  • Dependability: The Centurion Elite® is a platform that is ready to inform and react. With its supervisory conditions, it self-monitors and alert administrators to a variety of problems, including missing sensors or low battery all while remaining functional in the case of a power outage by using a back-up battery.


  • Custom install: Response Technologies and their partnering teams always listen to the needs of the end-user to help develop the best possible communication and response plan.  Centurion Elite® is a purpose-built, end-to-end solution that provides immediate notifications to first responders and is completely customizable. From sensor and button placement to personalized outgoing messages, Centurion Elite® is adaptable and designed to accommodate the user’s needs. 


“We will never be able to predict when an emergency will occur, but our wireless platform will be ready whenever the need arises. In the case of this end user, it was only a few days after installation. Thanks to collaborative teamwork, the City of Mission was prepared for an emergency,” said Matt Volkerding, VP of Sales, Response Technologies.

To learn more about Centurion Elite® and other solutions from Response Technologies, Ltd, or to request an online demo, visit or call 1.800.537.0102.

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