The Sistersville Police Department has implemented a new program to aid the officers in circulating important information throughout the community.
Nixle is a web based notification service utilized by 4,600 law enforcement agencies, county emergency management offices, municipalities and their agencies. Their publishing service allows verified agencies to send messages to local subscribers via phone, email and the web. Information is delivered almost instantly to geographically targeted consumers.
According to Police Chief Ben Placer, there are three levels of importance he can assign to the messages: alerts, advisories, and community events. "Alerts are the highest classification, and can be used to inform subscribers in the event of a missing person, for instance," Placer explained.
Placer says he's already tested the advisory function, sending out information he received from the National Weather Service. His department can also spread the word about community events, such as parades, through the Nixle program. These messages can be received through text messaging or email, and can also be posted to social networking web sites.
To date, the City of Sistersville has 27 subscribers. Placer hopes this number will continue grow as more residents become aware of the program and its value. "It's a good thing," he commented.
According to Placer, the program is as safe as it is effective. "When I first heard of the program I was skeptical," Placer admitted. "But the representative I spoke with assured me the information received from the subscribers is 100 percent confidential."
This means the contact information obtained will not be shared with anyone. "In fact, the information is encrypted in the master Nixle database," Placer said.
Anyone wishing to sign up for the free messaging service may do so by contacting the Sistersville Police Department at 304-652-1570 or online at www.nixle.com/register. A smart-phone application is also available through most markets.