Utah Department of Public Safety Media Portal

Jeff Nigbur (Utah Department of Public Safety)

The Department of Public Safety is dedicated to protecting the community. With the new DPS Media Portal, the public can find out about incidents more quickly and DPS employees can focus on protecting the public rather than communication with the media. The Media Portal uses innovative Web 2.0 technologies that provide the media with a current comprehensive view into statewide law enforcement activities.

1. The service is the First of its Kind – Utah is the first state to implement a centralized Media Portal that communicates directly with media outlets to enable them access to all public safety activities. While other agencies have various components, this web application is the first to integrate three vital services:

  • Active Incident Feed – A real-time data feed of current calls to the law enforcement dispatch center. The feed offers a comprehensive view of incidents that the Utah Highway Patrol is responding to, including the nature of the call, the location, and the status. In addition, the DPS Public Information Officer (PIO) may flag high-profile incidents and add comments to dispatch calls, including links to news releases and media advisories.
  • News Stories – Current and archived news releases that are completely indexed and searchable. These stories include sections for multimedia files, where the PIO may make available digital images, video clips, and audio clips for news organizations and media outlets to download and include in their broadcasts or stories.
  • Pushed Alerts – The alerts section includes a feed using Twitter to display short alerts sent from the PIO office to the media outlets. These short alerts allow the PIO to communicate immediately with the media about upcoming events, releases, or breaking situations. The alerts may be received through the PIO application, through an RSS feed, or delivered directly to a mobile device through SMS messaging.

2. Media Communication Streamlined – Through the innovative use of streaming video, pushed alerts, and real-time incorporation of active incidents, the PIO is able to leverage this tool to communicate with the media in a one-to-many manner. As a result, communication with the media is streamlined and call volume has dropped by over 40% during high-profile incidents.

3. Real-time Access for Reporters – With the Media Portal, reporters have a real-time view into dispatch calls, easy access to news releases and multimedia files, and a subscriber-based alert feed through Twitter. The site is secure for media access only to receive the disseminated information.

4. Communication Directly to Citizens through Pushed Alerts – The Twitter feed is available to all users, allowing the PIO to communicate directly to the public on Public Safety activities and urgent information. The Twitter feed includes a mix of media advisories relevant to the media through the Portal, and updates on community events, highway incidents, and public advisories for the citizens.

The Public Safety Media Portal incorporates secure data feeds, multimedia, and the use of Twitter microblogging feeds to provide current and urgent information to the media. These elements are available through a secure service and through pushed mobile updates.

Photo of Jeff Nigbur

Jeff Nigbur

Utah Department of Public Safety

Sergeant Jeff Nigbur is the lead Public Information Officer for the Utah Department of Public Safety. He oversees public information activities for all divisions within the department, including the Utah Highway Patrol, Utah State Crime Lab, Driver License Division, Bureau of Criminal Identification, Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), Utah Division of Homeland Security and the State Fire Marshal. Jeff has had the opportunity to deal with many high profile cases such as the Crandall Canyon Mine Disaster, Milford Flat Fire, the Jared Massey Tasing, the USU Van Roll-Over and many other media / awareness campaigns. Jeff received his Associates of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 2004 from the Salt Lake Community College. He also has a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Phoenix. Jeff is currently a motor squad instructor, DPS dive team master diver, and member of S.E.R.T., the Utah Dept. of Public Safety’s SWAT team.

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