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SCV Sheriff's Station launched new e-mail, text notification system

Posted: August 20, 2010 1:30 p.m.
Updated: August 23, 2010 1:00 p.m.
 

 The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is now using Nixle® to send free geographically specific e-mails and text messages directly to the public.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station launched the system Friday, Aug. 20.

Messages may include arrests, neighborhood-specific alerts and advisories, traffic incidents, road closures, wanted and missing persons, crime trends, and more.

Press releases from the SCV Sheriff's Station will no longer be posted on scvsheriff.com.

Those who are signed up to receive the station's messages via e-mail will need to sign up for the new Nixle instant notification system if they wish to continue receiving press releases and information relevant to public safety in the Santa Clarita Valley directly from the station.

"With the Nixle instant notification system, the Sheriff's Department can communicate accurate, timely and reliable information directly to the public via your cell phones and e-mail," said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. "Nixle is a great success story of a public-private partnership that enhances public safety at no cost to taxpayers."

Nixle alerts are color-coded.

a. Alert messages (coded red) indicate Amber alerts, kidnapping and other crimes where immediate public assistance is needed.

b. Advisory messages (coded yellow) are used to seek information on crime suspects and public safety messages.

c. Community messages (coded green) inform residents about safety tips, recent crime trends, and public safety agency special events.

d. Traffic messages (coded blue) notify users of major road closures and collisions.

Features that attracted Sheriff Baca and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to Nixle, making it the first formally recognized LASD nonemergent communication system,  include:

* E-mails and text messages can be sent and recieved for free (standard text messaging rates apply).

* Nixle is authenticated, secure and reliable - senders must prove they are who they say they are before sending (unlike social networking systems).

* No advertising - no spam, no sharing, and no selling.

* Nixle will not monitor or track user information.

* Anyone can opt-in or out.

* Geographically-specific messages can use an address, an address with surrounding radius, or a zip code to pin-point delivery to requests.

* Users can subscribe to specific LASD groups, such as the "LASD - Headquarters (Newsroom), Emergency Operations Bureau, or specific Sheriff's patrol stations (search "LASD").

* Nixle messages contain up to 10,000 characters of information, maps, and photos. Text messages will link to the full story.

* The National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System houses Nixle servers in their secure facilities and integrates Nixle technology into their network.

* Nixel was awarded the Most Innovative Product Award at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in October 2009.

* Nixle senders can auto-populate several social networking sites.

Residents may register for Nixle by following this steps:

1. Visit Nixle.com and click on the "residents sign up now" button.

2. You will be asked to provide your name, address (or closest cross street), e-mail address, and cell phone number. This information is needed to receive geographically specific information. More than one location can be registered.

3. Choose which notifications you will receive and from whom.

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