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June 22, 2010 > Fremont Police introduce Community Notification Service

Fremont Police introduce Community Notification Service

By Meenu Gupta

The Fremont Police Department will distribute public safety notifications using the Nixle community notification service. A free web-based service provided by Nixle, LLC, Nixle is designed to improve communication with people who live, work, and visit the area. This will be in addition to the City's Code Red notification system.

Nixle is a secure communications service available to municipal, county, and state government agencies. There is no spam or advertising associated with the wire messages and users' information is not given or sold to any other entities. The system is free although standard text message rates will apply for subscribers who do not have text plans with their cell phone providers. The system is geared to providing a quick, efficient, and secure way to get neighborhood-level information out to community members and subscribers. Once registered, users will receive messages by e-mail and by text message to their wireless phones. The department is able to send text messages (SMS) and e-mail alerts to subscribers in areas as small as ? of a mile or if need be, the entire City.

Messages are categorized as Alerts, Advisories, Community Information, and Traffic. "Initially the Police Department will be posting "Police Blotter" and Community Service announcements," said Detective Bill Veteran, Fremont PD. "Later in the year we hope to able provide information at all four alert levels." Examples of Nixle messages include those of missing at-risk persons, a search for an armed suspect, notification of a prescription drug take-back program and emergencies that require people to stay inside or remain away from their homes.

Alerts can include pictures of the subject and maps identifying the area they were last seen. Nixle alerts allow residents registered within affected neighborhoods to understand what's going on and provide a proactive role in the police effort. Incidents that cause road closures for extended periods of time might warrant a notification to subscribers who live or work in the area with suggested alternative commute routes.

Other uses may include updates about large-scale public works projects, traffic safety implications around fire scenes, special events, and information about health emergencies, City Council and Neighborhood Watch meeting information, utility outages and many other announcements. Nixle allows the Police Department to deliver messages to citizens via e-mail and cell phones, effectively expanding community outreach efforts. "This system is most effective when we have large numbers of subscribers," said Detective Veteran.

Sign up at www.nixle.com to see how the system works and receive alerts for both work and home.

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