by John Glidden | Nov. 12, 2020
FAIRFIELD – The Solano County Sheriff’s Office has a new tool to alert residents to leave their homes during an emergency.
On Tuesday, the Solano County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday received a presentation about the county’s new high-low warning system.
“It seems to be a tool that’s going to be very effective for us moving forward,” Deputy Sheriff Le’Ron Cummings told the board. “Considering we’re a county that experiences fire season.”
Cummings and Solano County Sheriff Thomas Ferrara said the system will reduce the need for deputies to go door-to-door checking to see if residents have evacuated. The shortened notification period will also save lives, they said.
During a natural disaster or emergency, deputies will activate the distinctive siren as they drive through the community. The warning system was used during the LNU Lightning Complex fires recently.
The new program includes the use of evacuation tags which residents can put on their doors or gates – letting the sheriff’s office know that the property is empty.
If deputies don’t see the tag, then they will check on those properties.
Supervisor Erin Hannigan expressed concerned the tags would stand out letting burglars know a house is empty.
“(It) advertises that nobody is in the house,” she said.
Ferrara admitted this could be a possibility but he stressed that law enforcement will patrol evacuated areas, reducing the risk of looting. Ferrara said residents can put their phone numbers on the tags, and should deputies see individuals on evacuated property, they can call the residents to ask if the persons are authorized to be there.
He confirmed that six to ten were arrested for looting during the last emergency.
The next step is to have a pre-recorded message broadcast alongside the siren, the sheriff said.
“I love the siren, I think that’s very useful,” said Hannigan after the board viewed a new promotional video about the new waring system.