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Imagine getting text alerts about accidents, flooded roadways or even descriptions of suspects wanted by local police – all to that little cell phone tucked in your back pocket.
The Taylorsville Police Department intends to provide these community alerts and more for anyone who registers with Nixle, an online messaging service. Residents not wanting to be charged by the cell phone company for text messages can opt to have alerts sent free of charge to their email account.
“It’s just another way to make contact with the general public,” said Chief Toby Lewis. “We can send out one message and reach hundreds of individuals.”
Lewis said other agencies, like Kentucky State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service, are already using the secure communication platform to update and obtain information from subscribers.
Not only could the service provide valuable information to residents about road closures, water main breaks and emergency shelters, but citizens could also be a great source for locating wanted persons. Lewis said a bank robbery suspect’s vehicle description could quickly be sent out across hundreds of cell phones scattered across the county.
“When I send a message from my phone it is out to subscribers in seconds,” said Lewis.
The process is simple. Just log on to www.nixle.com and set up an account by providing a unique user name and password. Users will need to provide a cell phone number and/or email address to begin receiving alerts. In addition to Taylorsville Police, users can opt to receive messages from other law enforcement agencies if desired.
Lewis told Taylorsville City Commissioners Tuesday that the service is provided at no cost to the police department and could be a valuable asset to disseminate information from the water department or city government.
In other city commission news:
• A community round table has been scheduled for March 30 at the Chamber of Commerce building beginning at 6 p.m. This will be an opportunity for various agencies and committees to exchange information about upcoming events.
• City Attorney Dudley Dale advised commissioners that they may want to review the city’s ethics ordinance. Currently, only one person sits on the city’s ethics committee. Dale suggested that up to four people should be chosen to serve.
• Commissioners received a second draft ordinance to regulate motorized scooters or wheelchairs. The decision was made to study the issue further by meeting with affected residents and representatives from the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Mayor Don Pay said that his goal was to increase the safety of scooter users “without the heavy hand of government.”
• Dale provided commissioners a draft municipal order on meeting procedures for the city commission. No action was taken on this issue.