SANTA MONICA—On Tuesday, November 7, the city of Santa Monica indicated in a press release that residents, businesses, and visitors can now receive updates for emergency and non-emergency calls for police service via text message.
The Santa Monica Police Department and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will initiate SPIDR Tech, a Versaterm Public Safety company that will send automated text messages to individuals who have called 911 or the non-emergency phone number and requested service from the SMPD.
The new customer service features will launch in two phases:
-Phase 1, November 7: Launch of automated text messages providing confirmation of the police request for service and status updates.
-Phase 2, December 11: Text-based, mobile-friendly survey asking for customer feedback will be sent 24-hours after a Santa Monica Police request for service has concluded.
Santa Monica’s new text notification updates:
-Will only be sent to individuals who placed their request for Police Department services by calling (310) 458-8491 or 911 using a cell phone
-Will NOT send texts about in-progress calls and situations where a text message may pose safety concerns for the individuals involved
-Can be accessed in Spanish by using the link provided in the text
-Will be delivered from the phone number (424) 484-0511
-Cannot be used to send text communications to dispatchers
-Can be stopped by replying to the text with “STOP”
“Santa Monica’s dispatchers answer over 250,000 calls annually,” said Chief Resilience Officer Lindsay Call, who oversees Santa Monica’s OEM Public Safety Communications Division. “This new technology will help improve communications and transparency between residents, businesses and visitors who report incidents, OEM public safety dispatchers and police personnel.”
In the region, the community should contact 911 if a life-threatening emergency arises and (310) 458-8491 for any other requests requiring police personnel assistance. If one cannot call 911, the public can also text 911 in Los Angeles County to communicate with dispatchers. Police Chief Ramón Batista is asking all those requesting police service to opt in to receive text updates.
“We want everyone who needs police assistance to know the status of their request,” Batista said “It is vitally important that we can confirm with the reporting party that their call for service will be answered and when.”