system is tested
North Idaho Correctional Institution (NICI) recently tested its Emergency Community Notification System (ECNS) system that alerts registered community members in case of an escape from NICI. About 120 registered users were phoned within fifteen minutes of a mock escape on November 16, 2004.
The test was considered a success when all but eight of the registered community members received a phone call or message within one hour. The computerized system can dial everyone on the list as many as four times per hour if necessary. Had it been a real escape, IDOC or local law enforcement officers would have been dispatched to homes of residents who could not be reached (due to busy signals or no answers). The trial notification of capture was conducted an hour later with similar success.
Most of the people registered for North Idaho Correctional Institutionís Emergency Community Notification System (ECNS) live within a 15-mile radius of the facility. Originally, NICI notified its neighbors of an escape by dividing and personally dialing the call list. The new system is faster and more efficient. Area residents wishing to register for notification can contact Sheryl Westhoff at NICI 962-3276.
ECNS is unique to North Idaho and was innovated upon request using the technology available to Idaho through the VINE system (Victim Information and Notification Everyday). VINE is a toll-free, 24-hour telephone hotline allowing users to check on offender custody status updates and register for automatic notification of release, escape or moves. The Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE) and the Emergency Community Notification System (ECNS) are funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Idaho State Police through a Byrne Grant.