Sheriff’s office installs alert system

Published 1:40 pm Monday, February 4, 2013

Community invited to sign up to receive alerts

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is utilizing Nixle, a community information service that allows the sheriff to alert the public with needed announcements.

The sheriff’s office began using Nixle on Feb. 1 and invites area residents to sign up for the service, which can be sent through cell phone text messages and/or emails.

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The information that can be sent ranges from warnings and alerts, weather advisories, traffic warnings, wanted individuals, criminal investigations requesting public assistance as well as any other relevant safety and community information.

“With the evolution of technology, this newly implemented system will allow us here at the sheriff’s office to communicate and keep the citizens of Polk County more current and up-to-date on events, criminal activities and other warnings and advisories that will keep citizens informed and aware,” said Det/Sgt. Randall R. Hodge.

Hodge said the service will be helpful in many areas for the sheriff’s office, particularly when someone may go missing or investigators are searching for a wanted person. He said the community can help if the sheriff’s office can send out a release and a photograph and description of a person.

The service is secure, reliable and easy to use for our group, Hodge added.

Hodge also said the information can be sent specifically to residents registered within a ¼ mile radius, giving them the opportunity to receive trustworthy information relevant only to their neighborhood. Residents decide from which local agencies they want to receive information. Subscribers can also choose the way in which alerts are received, whether it is by email, text message or over the web.

Nixle builds on the foundations of other public-to-public communication services, such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, but adds the key component of security. “When citizens receive information from our agency via Nixle, they know it can be trusted,” Hodge said.

Polk County and neighboring residents can immediately begin receiving pertinent information via text message, email and web by registering free at or go to and click on the Nixle logo. The sheriff’s office also encourages residents to like the sheriff’s office Facebook page.

Nixle is a community information service provider built exclusively to provide secure and reliable communications. It is the first authenticated and secure service that connects municipal agencies and community organizations to residents in real time, delivering information to geographically targeted consumers over their cell phones (via text messages), through e-mails and via Web access. Nixle has secured a partnership with Nlets (the International Justice and Public Safety Network), allowing local police departments nationwide to send immediate alerts and advisories. For more information, visit