By malmy at 23 July, 2013, 6:17 am
There’s been a few recently and from what I’ve seen on youtube (mostly chopper coverage), seems like a lot of clueless people going about their business are the most at-risk. Can’t the CHP issue a local "extreme" SMS alert to a blanket, semi-large "affected" area of LA so many people can avoid the streets and keep a close watch on their property if a gang of 4 burglary suspects decide to bail in random directions? I just looked at my phone and it seems like this SMS type is a default, along with a greyed-out "presidential" alerts also enabled (impromptu military drafts?) I think getting this kind of information is critical whether it instantly comes to your phone or car GPS (theoretically most are connected to real-time traffic conditions now) in order to save lives. Here’s a breakdown of what defines these wireless alerts: http://www.uscellular.com/support/cmas.html and in the case of a police chase where multiple agencies are involved, life and property damage is certainly at risk.
The next best thing (right now) is to get instantly notified of a chase yourself — even this can be challenging (putting that mildly) to find accurate and straightforward information. KTLA doesn’t have text alerts, only email "newsletters." nbclosangeles has texting, but you also have to be subscribed to a bundle like "celebrity gossip" and other "breaking news." KCAL9 appears to have a text-alert page full of dead sign-up links: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/text-alerts/ Some volunteers have setup twitter accounts, (PCALive) but who knows how delayed these tweets are and many accounts have not been updated for months. Plus not everyone has access to tweetdeck or similar applications where tweets flow in real-time vs. push-notifications on most native cell-phone apps. Most apps will also not filter re-tweets so if you follow more than 5 people, your timeline gets clogged in a hurry and you’re less likely to look at twitter anyway — defeating the purpose of twitter in the first place.
Information needs to reach affected areas in faster, more reliably, and in a less-clogged fashion.
Sirens. There ISN’T a ’system’ to alert ANY community about a police chase. Any chase lasting long enough to activate such a system won’t be in the same area by the time notice is received.