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Local Law Enforcement sends local alerts through Alert Sense to notify us

BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI)- During the search for the suspect that shot and killed Ada County Deputy Tobin Bolter, the Boise Police Department was able to locate him in a Boise neighborhood. They then sent out an alert through the Code Red system.

Informing residents of the standoff taking place, and letting them know to stay indoors. In Bonneville County, a similar system is used that is called Alert Sense. The system has been used fairly recently to search for a suspicious man in an Ammon neighborhood.

The system sends out mass messages in the form of text, email, or even a phone call. Sergeant Bryan Lovell shares why it helps them do their jobs.

"(It sticks to,) Individualized areas or neighborhoods or blocks, to inform people or let them know there's a situation. Maybe they need to shelter in place. Maybe they need to avoid a certain area. so it's, a very useful piece of technology," Sergeant Bryan Lovell from the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office said.

Sergeant Lovell shares that they can send the alert of information to as wide of an area as they want.

"It can go as far and wide as we need it. It can go, you know, as small as a block or a few houses if we need it. It just depends on the situation," Sergeant Lovell said.

The highly localized availability of the way the alerts work means that not everyone will get the alert.

"It's different that way from your emergency alert system or, say, your Amber alert or blue alert type system. There's different criteria, that we have for those things," Sergeant Lovell said.

Some of the criteria they look at depend on the call Sergeant Lovell said.

Sergeant Lovell explained that often the system is used when they have a missing person, kid, or elderly person with dementia. They may also use the system if there is a tactical emergency or even a significant crash.

When we receive the alerts, Sergeant Lovell encourages us to rely on the official information that we have and the facts that they have sent out.

"(It can be a) massive game of telephone. And that can create further problems. Ultimately what we want is the right resources going to the problem. What the community wants is resources to take care of the problem. And when we have convoluted messaging and speculation that spreads far and wide, then people feed information that may not be relevant, but they think is relevant based on that message. And that ties up more of our resources and pulls them away from the problem. So we definitely want to vet, you know, people have tips and information," Sergeant Lovell said.

He adds that by signing up for Alert Sense you will be able to ensure that you have that official information.

"What I would tell people is, you know, make sure what you're seeing is from official sources, is tied to official things," Sergeant Lovell said.

When signing up for Alert Sense you will need to share your name, phone number, address, and what type of alerts you may want outside of the emergency alerts. You can sign up for the system here.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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