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Over the last several months, the Santa Barbara Police Department has installed a new siren on their police vehicles. This tone is a unique sounding siren used to alert Santa Barbara community members of a need to evacuate a specific area and sounds similar to police sirens you may hear in Europe. The siren sound is known as the “Hi-Lo” tone due to the alternating quick transition “high” pitch to “low” pitch. This particular siren tone is only used in an emergency where you might need to evacuate.

This tone will not be used when officers respond to urgent police incidents or conduct traffic stops.

This siren tone will notify the community of the need to evacuate because of possible danger. This notification system could be used during a vegetation/wildland fire, any natural disaster, hazardous materials spill incident, or any other emergency that might require individuals to evacuate a particular area.

With new legislation passed, this siren tone has started to be implemented and installed on police vehicle throughout the state to notify neighborhoods of evacuation during an emergency or natural disaster. The Santa Barbara Police Department has installed this siren on many of its marked police vehicles. It has also implemented a policy on how and when officers should use them.

It is highly recommended if you hear this new siren tone, tune into a trusted media source to obtain information to confirm if you and/or your family need to evacuate or are affected by an emergency. This siren tone is not replacing any previous evacuation notification methods such as reverse 9-1-1, Everbridge text notifications, and personal door-to-door notifications. This tone is another new tool we are adding to help notify a neighborhood as soon as possible of potential danger.

Please click on the attached links to watch a short video explaining the siren’s uses, hear what it sounds like, and learn how to sign up for emergency text notifications.

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