EAST FELICIANA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The East Feliciana 911 Center is currently in the process of putting a new notification system into place.
Any citizen can sign up for free. Whenever there's an incident of concern, a notification will be sent out to all those who sign up. While the system is not yet available, it will be soon. Residents can sign up now and will begin receiving notifications when the system is ready.
The center takes about 50 dispatch calls during a busy shift. With about 15 employees in the department, two dispatchers are on standby around the clock, ready to respond to an emergency at a moment's notice.
While some calls are less urgent than others, many include vital information the public needs to know. It's why a new alert system is being brought online to pass along those important updates.
"Our goal is to become more connected with the citizens of East Feliciana Parish and to ensure that their public safety is of utmost importance to us at 911," said Tiffany Taylor, assistant director of the East Feliciana 911 Center.
Taylor says the system will go live in about a month and calls it a big step in launching the department into the 21st century. "If an incident happens in your area, then it'll be able to send you alerts on that," Taylor said. "You also have the option to enter in your cellphone number, which will receive text messages."
Taylor says the system will be perfect for emergencies like just this week when a work release inmate, 27-year-old George Carlisle, walked off his job site, sending deputies on the hunt. She believes it would also have come in handy during last year's historic flood.
"Had we had a system like this in place, we would have given the residents of certain areas an opportunity to maybe head for shelter and safety a little bit quicker than what we did," Taylor added.
The messages are free and Taylor says they will arm folks with one of the most valuable tools they can have: information.
"It also literally only takes about five minutes to sign up for it," she said.
To sign up, text your zip code (or any other zip code you want to receive notifications for) to 888777.