Niagara County among 23 that piloted program to enhance victims' safetyby jmaloni
Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour joined members of the New York State Sheriffs' Association Institute in announcing this week a new program implemented in partnership with the state that will allow individuals who have been granted Family Court orders of protection to register to receive alerts when those orders are served.
The Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification Network-New York (SAVIN-NY) system allows victims of domestic violence and other crimes to register through NY-ALERT (www.nyalert.gov) to receive notifications of service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via text message, e-mail, fax, automated phone call, Web query or iAlertz, a free application for the iPhone or iPad.
The availability of the SAVIN-NY system was announced by Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike, chairman of the Sheriffs' Association Institute board of directors, at a press conference at the YWCA of Northeastern New York in Schenectady, that county's domestic violence services provider. The event was attended by state officials, crime victim advocates, and court and law enforcement officials from throughout the state.
Schenectady and Niagara County were among 23 counties in which the system was piloted. Other counties where the SAVIN-NY program is active are: Albany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Nassau, Orange, Onondaga, Ontario, Otsego, Rockland, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Suffolk, Tioga, Washington, Wayne, Westchester and Yates.
Victims of domestic violence and other crimes can sign up now for the free system, which will notify them whenever orders of protection issued by Family Courts outside of New York City are served. The program will eventually be expanded to include orders of protection issued in connection with criminal cases.
Individuals can register to receive SAVIN-NY alerts by visiting www.nyalert.gov, and clicking on the "Orders of Protection" box on the left menu. Additional information and frequently asked questions can be found at www.savin-ny.org.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said: "I would like to commend the Sheriffs' Association Institute for obtaining resources to bring SAVIN to New York state, and working closely with state agencies to implement the system so it meets its important goal: providing victims of domestic violence and other crimes with timely information that can help keep them safe. This is a great example of how the state can work with a non-for-profit organization to effectively and efficiently deliver services that will make a difference in people's lives."