DEDHAM, MA, Aug. 23, 2011 – Norfolk County Sheriff Michael G. Bellotti is urging residents to register with his Code Red Rapid Alert Notification System (RANS), which directly notifies residents about public safety emergencies via telephone voicemail, email, text message, Twitter or Facebook.

    The RANS program – which is free of charge to all county residents -- notifies residents about flood warnings, hazardous material dangers, missing person alerts and other situations that local officials deem to be public safety emergencies.

    The notification system calls residents’ home phones via databases available from the phone company. People wishing to add their cell phone numbers or email addresses must voluntarily register their information with the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office by visiting the NCSO website at www.norfolksheriff.comand clicking on “Rapid Alert Notification System.” The NCSO keeps all such information confidential and does not share it with anyone.

    To receive alerts through Facebook, search for the “NCSO RANS” page on Facebook and click on the icon to become a friend. People on the Twitter network can search for “norfolkcorans” and then click to follow.

    “We have updated the RANS software to allow us to send the alerts to people by whatever means they prefer, such as text message or email or the social media in addition to calling on a household land line,” Sheriff Bellotti said. “As people change their methods of communication, we are changing our technology to stay ahead of the curve.”

    The RANS program is run by Sheriff Bellotti as a public safety service to all of Norfolk County and was originally financed in part through a federal Homeland Security grant. Local public safety officials contact the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office when they determine they need to send out an announcement, and Sheriff Bellotti’s RANS officer carries out the task.

    The Code Red software is capable of making 1,000 phone calls per minute, and the calls can be made countywide or by municipality or by drawing a boundary around a certain affected area, around a river flood plain, for example.

    “This is an exceptional service, and I hope everyone will take advantage of it,” Sheriff Bellotti said. “We live in one of America’s leading technology centers, and this is just one way to make good practical use of the great developments that have occurred around here when it comes to informing about a public safety emergency.”


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