The Winston-Salem Police Department has installed a new notification system that allows residents to receive both emergency and non-emergency notifications via text, email or voicemail.
Residents are encouraged to visit CityofWS.org and click on the “Citizen Notification” link on the site. The new system requires that citizens give their address so that notifications can be sent based on where an individual resides.
Once an address is given, a map will appear on the screen that will require the individual to verify that the address that they gave is correct.
Winston-Salem’s previous system, Reverse911, was only able to reach citizens via landline telephones. This system, which allows citizens to register up to four telephone numbers, is able to send texts, emails or voicemails based on the individual preference. It also gives citizens the option to receive notifications about special meetings, notices, news and reminders when garbage collection is postponed by a holiday or disrupted by a winter storm.
“Emergency notifications provide an important means of alerting citizens of missing persons, criminal activity or hazardous conditions, such as flooding, fires, a chemical spill or a water main break in their neighborhoods,” Conley said. “As more and more citizens give up their landlines, finding a way to reach people who only have cellphones has become an important public safety issue. The new system gives us that ability and more – but we need our citizens to register.” (via press release)
Once registered, citizens can change notification preference or address at any time.
“We have structured this so citizens have control over their information and how it is used,” Conley said. “We urge everyone in Winston-Salem to sign up for the Citizen Notification System.”