More than a dozen Houston-area law enforcement and government agencies are adding a new networking component to their communication arsenal, says the Houston Chronicle. It’s called Nixle, a community information service that enables public entities to blast information – including Amber Alerts, advisories and community and traffic information – directly to residents by e-mail and text. Unlike its counterparts, Nixle provides only one-way communication and no advertising.
The service was launched in March and is free to agencies and residents. Residents can set up an account to receive information by going to the Nixle Web site. Craig Mitnick, co-founder of Nixle, said the service is a way for agencies to stay connected with the community at a neighborhood level. For example, agencies can send an alert to a specific neighborhood or to neighborhoods within a two-mile or 50-mile radius, depending on the circumstances. About 2,000 agencies in 49 states are plugged into Nixle, reaching about 80,000 or more people.