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CODE RED: Shafter to introduce new community notification system

SHAFTER ALERT SYSTEM
Posted at 4:58 PM, Apr 05, 2024

SHAFTER, Calif. (KERO) — Local emergencies, road closures, and city agendas can be at Shafter resident's fingertips as the city looks to unveil a new alert system where they can receive text updates.

  • A shooting in Feb. 2023 wreaked on the city of Shafter's communication system forcing school lockdowns, while a plethora of calls bogged down the city's police dispatch center. Following the incident, Shafter City officials worked to bring in a new system where they could notify residents of any issues happening inside city limits with an easy-to-update text, phone call, or notification system.
  • The City is preparing to roll out the Code Red system where residents can sign up to receive alerts on what they want and how they want it.
  • 23ABC spoke with Shafter's Community Engagement Director, Rachel Zermeño and Acting Chief of Police, Randy Milligan, who both noted the purpose behind adding this extra layer of communication with the community was to remain transparent with what's happening in and around the city and expeditiously doing that.
  • More information about the Code Red alert system can be found on the City of Shafter's website.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

When something's happening in your community, you want to know about it right? I'm Sam Hoyle, your Shafter neighborhood reporter, and the city is working on bringing in a tool to put more information happening in your neighborhood, in the palm of your hands.

It was a cool February morning in 2023... When Elijah Jene Sanchez shot another man in the head in the Starbucks parking lot on Lerdo Highway.

"There was just so much messaging going on between city officials, the schools, residents of course, and we thought we have to do something better," said Shafter Community Engagement Manager, Rachel Zermeño.

Over the last handful of years, the city's focus on getting information out to residents has been social media.

Acting Chief of Police Randy Milligan commends the city for its active social media presence but noted that because people aren't always looking at it, it can cause a delay in getting information out.

"I believe that the public does appreciate the transparency that the city of Shafter does have through social media. Just don't believe everybody's checking their social media all the time that we need for somebody to be notified in case of an emergency," said Milligan in a phone call.

According to Zermeño, the purpose behind adding this layer of community notification?

"It's faster, we'll be able to send notifications out in a moment's notice," said Zermeño. "It's going to be great for residents because they'll be able to receive these notifications. They get to choose how, whether by phone call, by text, by email, or they can download the app they can download the Code Red app and have it that way. So there's just so many opportunities."

Zermeno said the types of notification residents can sign up for range from emergencies like the shooting that occurred in February of last year, to a water main break and even city council agendas. Still, residents have the choice to select what gets sent to their phones.

To learn more about the Code Red notification system, be sure to check out the city's website.


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