Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Your next text message might come from the LAPD

A Wednesday night march in Silver Lake in support of gay marriage will find the LAPD sending out text messages as well as officers to keep things under control. The department will be texting mobile phone users with information about road closures and the location of Bury Prop 8 marchers as part of a test of a secure instant message system operated by a start up company called Nixle.

Northeast Division Capt. Bill Murphy said the test on Wednesday night will be the first for his division, which includes Silver Lake. "It gives us the opportunity to give out brief updates on the march, direction of travel, is it peaceful, anticipated arrivals, simple basic info the public might want to know," said Murphy. "It could be used for upcoming major events - parades, or say significant incidents - a fire at Griffith Park. Hopefully, it works well and we use it regularly."

Murphy, who announced the test in an email newsletter today, said anyone with a mobile phone can sign up for tomorrow's updates:

"If you are interested in getting these updates, please do the following: type 25827 where you would normally type in a telephone number. Then in the text field, type buryprop8 (with no spaces). If you have done this successfully you will receive the following: You are now subscribed to receive messages from Incident Command Prop 8 Protest 11-4. To unsubscribe text: buryprop 8 off to 25827"

A member of LAPD's media relations will be sending out the updates, Murphy said.

Now, the only question is whether you can get pulled over for reading LAPD phone texts while driving.

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