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04/10/2009

Utah Department of Public Safety Launches New Online Press Information Portal

First of its Kind Web Site Pushes Alerts and Provides Information on Public Safety Related Incidents and Activities

Salt Lake City, UT--(Business Wire)--The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) announces the launch of a new Media Portal web application developed exclusively for communicating current news, information, and alerts to media outlets about public safety activities. The first-of-its-kind site provides a comprehensive view into current statewide law enforcement activities and includes sections for news releases and multimedia downloads. The site also incorporates pushed alerts to RSS and SMS feeds via Twitter on breaking news and developing stories. The portal will be available as a secure login for authorized members of the press only. For more information, visit publicsafety.utah.gov/dps/pio.html.

“This new site will help us communicate to the media much more effectively and proactively,” said Sgt. Jeff Nigbur, Public Information Officer for DPS. “The media is a critical partner in our ability to communicate with the public, and this application will help us advance our mission to serve and protect the citizens of Utah.”

The portal will be a view into routine incidents statewide, but when a high-profile incident or pubic emergency occurs, the site will be a critical tool for the public information officers to broadcast alerts, updates, and post supporting multimedia files.

This is a significant achievement for DPS as this concept originated from the DPS public information office and has been a long time goal. The realization of the portal would not have been possible without the creative talent from the technical experts at Utah Interactive.

Types of information available on the new site include:

  • Active incident feed – Current calls to the dispatch center that the Utah Highway Patrol is responding to including the nature of the call, the location, and the status. With the new application, the DPS PIO may make comments on high-profile dispatch calls and link to news releases and media advisories.
  • News stories – Current and archived news releases that are completely indexed and searchable.
  • Multimedia downloads – Digital images, video and audio clips for media outlets to download and include in their reports.
  • Pushed alerts – A Twitter feed to display short alerts sent from the PIO office to the media outlets. These short alerts will allow the PIO to communicate with the media about upcoming events, releases, or breaking situations. The alerts may be received on the PIO application through an RSS feed or delivered directly to a mobile device through SMS messaging.

The Media Portal was developed through a partnership with Utah Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of NIC, Inc. of Olathe, Kansas.

About Utah.gov
Utah.gov is the State of Utah’s official Web portal (http://www.utah.gov) It was ranked first in the 2008 Digital States Survey by the Center for Digital Government and also ranked first in the nation in the Center for Digital Government’s 2007 Best of the Web competition. It is managed and operated without tax funds through a public-private partnership between the state and Utah Interactive, the Salt Lake City-based official eGovernment partner for the state of Utah. Utah Interactive is a subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC (NASDAQ: EGOV)

About NIC
NIC is the nation’s leading provider of official government portals, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company’s innovative eGovernment services help reduce costs and increase efficiencies for government agencies, citizens, and businesses across the country. NIC provides eGovernment solutions for 2,900 federal, state, and local agencies that serve more than 70 million people in the United States. Additional information is available at http://www.nicusa.com.


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