Skip to Content

Santa Barbara will hear new alert tones from police cars  in an emergency

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara Police Department now has new high-low alert tones for its patrol units that will only be used in emergencies when an evacuation has been ordered.

Sergeant Ethan Ragsdale says the emergency can be several situations including fires, floods, earthquakes, gas leaks or a tsunami. "What it is used for primarily is evacuation notifications for a community or a particular neighborhood  that might be threatened by a natural disaster or an emergency that requires people to evacuate their homes or businesses."

The area in danger will be identified on a map and the police unit will then drive up and down the streets in that zone with the unique sounding siren tone, which is similar to something you would associate with a European police car.

Residents or someone in a business should then check in with trusted media or government sites where emergency information is posted.   

That will help them evacuate in a timely and safe manner.

"What we want you to do is to get more information as to what kind of emergency it is and what is the best route and location that you would need to evacuate," said Ragsdale.

He said, "the lights have to be activated and ultimately the officer that is deploying the high- low siren while driving the marked police unit through the neighborhood." Announcements will also be made,   while the officer is "driving at a slow pace and giving verbal instructions over the PA (public address system."

This alert is not replacing other options for the public to get information or notifications.

"This is not going to replace our Everbridge system that sends out text alerts to a particular area or reverse 911 or officers going, door to door to notify community members or businesses," said Ragsdale.

Article Topic Follows: Events
Author Profile Photo

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about John, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content