A bomb threat that brought chaos to Palm Desert
“We’re here at Sacred Heart Church where are all of the preschoolers were evacuated.”
Parents broke out in sheer panic.
“Very scary it’s a sad time in this world.”
K-9 units and bomb sniffing dogs also made an appearance.
Through this all,
NBC Palm Springs was there, sending push alerts, updating you on social media, and broadcasting live from the scene at least one hour before the Riverside Sheriff’s Office sent out their first tweet.
At 10:58AM the Riverside Sheriff’s Office tweeted about the incident. At 11:00AM they sent out a retweet from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department of the same message. Then, at 1:24PM the Riverside Sheriff’s Office stated there was no threat.
So by the time RSO had sent their last tweet, NBC Palm Springs had already gotten the word out But it wasn’t with the help of radio scanners–as we refer to them– that used to give the media basic access to hear what local police are dealing with in real time. That’s because on November 8th, the eastern Riverside County Interoperable Communications authority or ERICA changed its policy and limited access to encrypted channels to law enforcement and other qualified personnel. Fortunately, the media still has access to the sheriff’s radio which allowed NBC Palm Springs to send a crew to the scene. During the chaos, police radios were silent. So, how is the media suppose to get the word out to a concerned community if these devices are deactivated?
“Breaking news situations, follow our twitter, our Facebook. We are very active on a variety of social media platforms,” said Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes.
Yet their first response was sent out nearly an hour after our team arrived at the school, and didn’t specify a location or road closures.
“There are many people that don’t utilize social media, so we need to diversify the way that information is disseminated,” California Senator Jeff Stone told NBC Palm Springs.
Going to show that while police and emergency officials are your first responders, the media continues to be the first place you choose to get up to the minute information. All the Coachella Valley journalists continue to engage officials to try to come up with a comprehensive solution to better inform the public in these crisis situations.