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New unit at Bridgeport gives news, information

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO. - The Tigard Police Department installed “digital signage” in the lobby of Bridgeport Regal Cinemas. This kiosk provides news and weather updates and public education materials, and was funded by a State Farm Insurance grant.

Visitors to Bridgeport Regal Cinemas can expect some informative previews before they even cross the theater lobby, thanks to the Tigard Police Department’s new electronic information kiosks.

Inspired by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office “digital signage” in places like the food court at Clackamas Town Center and Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Tigard police have been researching a way to deliver real-time public safety updates and up-to-the-minute news and weather broadcasts — as well as a compelling method for screening helpful public safety videos.

According to public information officer Jim Wolf, the project involves two 42-inch television screens and took about nine months to complete. The kiosk was built and installed at no cost to taxpayers, he said, thanks to a community grant through State Farm Insurance.

“They saw the direct benefits of this type of education,” Wolf said. “It’s been a wonderful public-private partnership.”

The police department also formed a partnership with Clackamas County, which is sharing its own collection of public education videos that range from a Mothers Against Drunk Driving-sponsored presentation on the dangers of driving under the influence of intoxicants, to Legacy Health Center’s tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Other public service announcements address issues like bullying and provide crime-prevention tips.

Eugene-based Feeney Wireless was responsible for designing and building much of the kiosk, Wolf said. Meanwhile, the kiosk unit has a ticker capability to provide constant, up-to-the-minute news and weather updates.

Wolf said he is responsible for lining up the digital signage’s programming, which he is able to do from the Tigard Police Station using a MediaTile platform. This technology allows the department to broadcast breaking news, such as Amber Alerts.

The kiosk has been in service since late November.

Although other locations were considered, when Bridgeport Regal Cinemas volunteered space, police officials decided that lobby traffic, estimated at more than one million visitors per year, was optimal.

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