Police: Free Nixle alerts are back

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published October 11, 2011

HARPER WOODS — After stopping the use of Nixle.com to get the word out on crime and other information to the public last spring, the police were happy to hear that Nixle was bringing back its free option.

Police ceased using Nixle when they discovered the service was no longer going to be free to communities. They spent time looking for a different service, even announcing the use of Facebook to get information out quickly to residents.

Then, they recently learned some good news.

“We contacted Nixle to see if they had any other less expensive options and were informed that they were transitioning back to a free service, and we were eligible for reactivation,” acting Police Chief James Burke released in a statement Sept. 27 through Nixle. “We still have about 900 subscribers. Please forward this message to anyone you believe may be interested in receiving information from the Harper Woods Police Department.”

The department still has its recently established official Facebook page, but it just isn’t the right format for these types of releases, Burke said.

“We got back into it … and got a ton of positive responses from the community,” Burke said of Nixle.

He even sent out a thank you on Sept. 29 to those who sent responses on Nixle.

“We are working on getting back to where we were with Nixle and a consistent flow of information about events in the community,” he stated.

He called getting information out to the public a priority. In the past, the department used the service to get word out to residents about such concerns as keeping an eye out for suspicious activity in response to robberies and notifying residents of community events.

Since relaunching its Nixle feed, the department had released at least five alerts about crimes and criminal court outcomes by the middle of last week.

To sign up for Nixle alerts, visit www.nixle.com. The system allows residents to get emails and text messages through the alert system.