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Saturday, December 13, 2014

The New York Sheriffs’ Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE) Hotline now enables crime victims to receive a text message notification in the event of any change in the custody status of an offender incarcerated in a county correctional facility in New York State or a correctional facility in New York City, Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour announced Friday.

VINE allows crime victims to learn the custody status of an offender, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by telephone or online. This new notification option, “SMS Text Messaging Notification,” adds text messaging to the existing notification options. The additional outbound notification method will be in Spanish and English.

“Crime victims need and want timely and accurate offender information to proactively ensure their personal safety and that of their families. I applaud the addition of texting and predict crime victims will embrace this new technology,” Voutour said.

In 2014, almost 2.8 million crime victims searched the VINE Database, using either the toll free number (1-888-VINE-4-NY), the VINEMobile app, the Sheriff's Mobile Patrol App (both available for IPhone and Android), or the website (

Also in 2014, over 100,000 crime victims received notification of a change in their offender’s status either by phone or email. It is anticipated that the addition of the text messaging option will result in even more crime victims receiving timely notification of vital offender information.

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