Sheriff offers alerts via text, phone, email | Crime
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott stood with community leaders and announced on Tuesday the release of another innovative tool that will create greater opportunity for our citizens to rapidly receive information from the Sheriff’s Department.
The Sheriff stated that his goal is to ensure that all citizens are aware of what is going on in their communities – his vision is that every citizen will be informed with important information and subsequently be alert to what is going on around them. Sheriff Leon Lott added that with the new “Sheriff’s Alert System” citizens can choose to stay informed of crime trends, critical incidents, community events, safety messages and/or weather related issues.
The new “Sheriff’s Alert System” combines highly advanced digital mapping technologies with phone data, to automatically contact people in areas precisely targeted by deputies. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the GeoCast®Web™ replaces the previous REVERSE 911® system used by the Department for the past ten years. Sheriff Leon Lott believes that GeoCast Web will better support the growing needs of our communities because it is completely web based and can notify upwards of 1000 people per minute.
The Sheriff added this new service will provide citizens the opportunity to stay connected simply by signing up (hold your mouse over the icon below, press CTRL and left click or go to https://rcsd.onthealert.com); residents can safely complete the online form, supplying their wireless and/or Voice over IP phone numbers.
As more people transition from landline to wireless and Voice over IP phone service, the availability and accuracy of local 9-1-1 or commercially provided phone data can be greatly diminished, creating significant gaps in communications databases. For this reason, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department has now implemented Cassidian Communications Self-Registration Portal (SRP) to gather critical data, including cell phone numbers and email addresses, directly from the community.
Sheriff Leon Lott added that the “Sheriff’s Alert System” currently contains 82,000 telephone numbers entered by Cassidian Communications from commercially provided data; however, in order for citizens to receive information by text, cell phone, email or their unlisted number they will have to decide to register themselves.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated citizens who register themselves, to receive the free notifications, will be receiving it by cell, text and home telephone based on the information the subscriber inputs and provides. The GeoCast Web system is an extremely efficient, reputable and effective manner by which citizens can stay informed. With the new emergency notification system, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department can now alert local residents using up to 30,000 vendor-provided phone lines. The number of calls made during such events can vary for a number of reasons, including message length and the local exchange carrier’s capacity limits, but anticipate easily placing an average of 1,000 calls per minute. (Mentioned earlier) This estimate is based on information supplied by the system’s provider, Cassidian Communications, and their customers' prior use during natural and man-made disasters, Amber Alerts and other public safety emergencies.
Sheriff Leon Lott is adamant that a more alert citizen is a safer citizen – and a better citizen. The Sheriff added that the more aware our citizens are, the more involved they can be in preventing crime and capturing criminals.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that he will continue to find innovative, FREE services, that will keep our communities engaged and knowledgeable -- his passion and vision is to have the most informed and aware citizens; while having the most professional law enforcement agency anywhere.
The type of notifications that The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is now capable of sending out using the GeoCast®Web™ emergency notification system:
· Crimes in progress
· Fugitives from Justice
· Sheriff’s Safety Messages
· Crime Trends
· Critical Incidents
· Community Events/Meetings
· School Resource Officers messages
· Weather Related
· ALL Alerts