Baltimore police are filling walls on Facebook, posting tweets on Twitters, and now are sending e-mail and cell phone text alerts on something called Nixle, says the Baltimore Sun. In one district, anyone can sign up by setting up a free account at www.nixle.com. Simply enter an address, and you’ll start getting alerts – to your cell phone, your e-mail or both – about crime occurring within a quarter-mile radius.
Craig Mitnick, founder and CEO of Nixle, said hundreds of police agencies from around the country have requested to join, and 50 departments have gone live in the past week. The service is free to the user and the police, and governments can use the service to alert residents to just about anything, from trash pickup to school board announcements to murder, to a missing person. “Police departments should have the ability to send real-time information to the people who need it,” said Mitnick, a former prosecutor in New Jersey, defense attorney, police trainer, and television legal expert. “Media should not control the information. It should come directly from the government to us, unfiltered and in real time.”