WPSO updates text alerts

Published 6:21 am Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office has upgraded its text message alert system.

The system sends text messages to subscribers’ mobile phones. Those messages will now come from a 10-digit phone number or a five-digit number and in addition the format of the message will also change.

However, Brent Jones, the administrative assistant in the sheriff’s office, said the information would be the same.

Jones explained that the sheriff’s office can send out any sort of information it considers to be in the public interest — including the inmate roster, missing child alerts and emergency response information.

“If we had a hurricane or something like that and we established a curfew or something, and we wanted to get it out to people immediately, we’d use the alert system,” he said.

Subscribing to the service is free, however regular texting rates will apply.

The service started nearly a year ago, and anyone may sign up. To do so, text 888777 on a mobile phone and then enter in the local zip code. Users can opt out any time by texting STOP to 888777. Users can also go to the sheriff’s website and register. That website is wpso.la.gov/alerts_signup.php.

Each message will have a subject line and then further information.

Anyone with questions can call the sheriff’s office at 985-839-3434.

Sheriff Randy Seal said that he’s happy with the alert system and it allows law enforcement and the public to work together.

“As always, we wish to thank the public for their continued support of law enforcement,” he said. “We also believe the unique partnership we have between the public and law enforcement enhances the security and quality of life we all enjoy.”