Everyone knows that it is better to be proactive than reactive, to be aware instead of uninformed, and to be prepared rather than caught off guard. We seem to hear about news in our communities after it has already happened, sometimes leaving us completely blindsided. It is hard to have constant communication between city officials and members of the community which sometimes leaves us frustrated and clueless. Thankfully, there is now a new tool that connects us directly and keeps us in tune with news in our community. This brilliant new technology is called “Nixle” and it is helping us be proactive, aware, and prepared.
Nixle’s basic function is very simple: users sign up for alerts (free of charge) and text message updates will be sent directly to their cellphone. These messages include things like crime statistics for the last 28 days, local emergencies like a telephone pole falling down, and recent news that community members would need to know. It seems like the addition of this technology to communities will create a stronger communication between citizens and city officials, ultimately eliminating the wall that existed between them.
The introduction of Nixle will also help many of us avoid common issues that are often out of our control. For example, a resident of Albany recently posted an irritated Facebook status about their car being towed. The car was left in an area that had already been plowed and the resident wrote that it had not snowed in several hours. The car ended up being towed and the owner was forced to pay a large fine in order to get it back. There is a “snow emergency line” that residents can call for this type of information, but the local said he did not think that was necessary considering the amount of snow and the clear roads.
This kind of frustration creates tension between city officials and its citizens; officials really have no way of sending a message to the masses and citizens end up feeling uninformed and cheated. When an issue like this occurs and is shared it also sends a negative message about those in control of our communities and leaves residents with a bad taste in their mouth. Nixle will serve as a platform for officials to communicate in a timely manner with city residents and build a relationship that did not exist before.
The technology device will also allow its users to feel safe and informed as they will know about crime in the community. These developments will help our cities feel more safe and BE more safe with a constant connection to the news. While some cities in the area are not sure if they will be adopting the new technology, others are most definitely on board. Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff says,”Members of our community will directly benefit from Nixle by providing them with neighborhood-specific crime data and other information when they need it most.”
What do you think of this new communication tool? Will you be signing up for it? Tell us what you think in a comment below! For other new developments in the community, visit Albany.com!