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Sheriff Todd joins NYS Sheriffs’ Institute, state officials and others to announce technology to keep victims of domestic violence, other crimes safe

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute announced today a new program it has implemented, in partnership with New York 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.

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

Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike, who is chairman of the Sheriffs’ Association Institute Board of Directors, announced the availability of the SAVIN-NY system at a press conference this morning at the YWCA of Northeastern New York in Schenectady, which was one of 23 counties in which the system was piloted.

The YWCA is the county’s domestic violence services provider.  Officials, crime victim advocates, and court and law enforcement officials from throughout the Capital Region and New York State were in attendance.

The SAVIN-NY program is active in the following 23 counties: Schenectady, Albany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Nassau, Orange, Onondaga, Ontario, Otsego, Niagara, Rockland, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Suffolk, Tioga, Washington, Wayne, Westchester and Yates.

The Sheriffs’ Association Institute received a $495,000 grant from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance to bring the SAVIN program to New York State and worked in partnership with the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, the State Police, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV), the Office of Victim Services (OVS), the state’s Unified Court System, the Westchester County Office for Women, and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to implement it.

The information technology expertise of the State Police and DHSES allowed the alerts to be issued via NY-ALERT.

Governor Andrew 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.”

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith, president of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, said, “SAVIN-NY is a great success story in the area of victims’ rights. The Sheriffs Institute started with a two-year grant to test the Order of Protection Notification Project in a limited area. By partnering with key agencies, like the NY-ALERT system of Homeland Security for the notifications, the New York State Police for IT support, the state Unified Court System, which initiates the orders, and many others, the Institute built a program that will endure into the future, while saving the state tax dollars and helping to ensure that victims are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.”

Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd said of the program, “Offenders are often more violent during a time of separation, which is why it is of the utmost importance for victims to receive immediate notification that the order of protection has been served. Registering with the SAVIN-NY program will allow victims an opportunity to prepare for their personal safety.”

When registering with SAVIN-NY, victims also can identify additional individuals to be notified when orders of protection are served, such as advocates, attorneys, friends or family members.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute was formed in 1979 to operate some of the charitable and educational programs that had been administered by the Sheriffs’ Association. The institute provides education and training for sheriffs and their staff, operates the Institute’s Summer Camp for children, and the Sheriffs’ Victim Notification Services.