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Stay safe, stay informed when ASTREA flies overhead


Last updated 11/5/2020 at 12:49pm


Village News/Courtesy photo

SAN DIEGO – A new San Diego County Sheriff's Department service is now available to keep everyone informed. Residents can now call or text "Hello" to 858-866-HELO (4356) to receive helicopter messages straight to their phone.

The Sheriff's ASTREA (Aerial Support to Regional Enforcement Agencies) helicopter uses a loudspeaker when searching for a missing person or suspect. Announcements are also made during critical incidents such as a SWAT standoff, disasters, crowd management events or to give people a shelter in place notification.

This is not an automated or a push notification service. The caller still needs to call or text "Hello" to 858-866-HELO (4356) each time they hear Sheriff's ASTREA making announcements over their area.

If there is more than one active broadcast at any given time, they have the option to choose the message that impacts their location. Currently, this service is only available for Sheriff's Department patrol areas. To learn more about the communities it serves, visit

While this program is free, the caller might have to pay to receive text messages depending on their phone plan.

This phone line is not for reporting a crime or emergency. For emergencies, call 9-1-1. For non-emergencies, call 858-565-5200.

Sheriff's ASTREA is a countywide asset that has been providing support to the department and partner agencies since 1971. It currently has nine helicopters. It averages 2,000 missions each year to support patrol, as well as fire and rescue calls around the clock.

Submitted by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.


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