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Nixle Policy

City of Latrobe Nixle Police September 23, 2013

I.          PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures and instructions for agency supervisors and other authorized personnel in the use of the City of Latrobe community notification system.

II.        POLICY

It is the policy of the City of Latrobe to utilize a community notification system to provide timely updates and information to the citizens of the City on matters of public safety and relevant community information. All City departments, Administration, Fire, Planning, Police and Tax as well as the City’s Emergency Management Coordinator are expected to utilize the service as described below. 

III.       PROCEDURES

A.  System Overview

The City of Latrobe utilizes the services of nixle.com to provide electronic updates in the form of emails, text messages, and static online posts to citizens of the City.  Nixle provides a secure, web-based communications platform to government agencies that facilitates the quick transmittal of Alerts, Advisories, Community information, and traffic information to the public.

B.  Access

In order to ensure that the citizens of Latrobe realize the full potential of this system for providing important, and potentially lifesaving information, the City Manager, Emergency Management Coordinator and the Police Chief and other City personnel as designated by the City Manager shall receive a Nixle username/password and training on its use in order to facilitate the City’s ability to provide these updates as needed.

1.    Only authorized personnel shall access the system and/or send messages.

2.     No personnel of the City shall send public messages until he or she has received authorization from the City Manager, Police Chief or their designee.

3.     Messages generated by City Departments other than the Latrobe Police and Emergency Management Coordinator are to be forwarded to the City Manager for posting. It is the expectation that all other City Departments have needs to generate messages and they are to be forwarded to the City Manager. If the City Manager is unavailable messages may be forwarded to the Emergency Management Coordinator or Police Department for posting.

            C.        Types of Messages

The City of Latrobe will utilize the Nixle System to transmit three types of messages. These messages will be classified as either “Alerts”, “Advisories” or “Community”.

Alerts - Alert messages shall be used to inform and update citizens of the City in the event of an actual or potential emergency situation. Examples of Alert messages include, but may not be limited to:

·    severe weather WARNINGS issued by the National Weather Service  (NWS);

·    vehicle accidents causing traffic delays and / or road closures for  extended periods of time;

·    currently-occurring and /or continuing incidents of criminal activity; (Police Chief or his/her designee)

      ·    missing / endangered / at-risk individuals; (Police Chief or his/her designee)

      ·    evacuations;

·    a request for damage reports from City residents following an incident;

      ·    an increase in the National Terror Advisory System status;

      ·    terror attacks (Police Chief or his/her designee); and

      ·    other messages as approved by the City Manager.

The nature of an Alert message requires immediate publication. Therefore, all members of the Police Department’s staff, Emergency Management Coordinator and other employees and / or City personnel as designated by the City Manager shall have access to the Nixle system and have standing authority to post these alerts as needed in accordance with the guidelines established in this policy.

Alert messages will be published in the following manner:

1.  Upon being notified of an incident that may be cause for notification of City residents, the on-duty supervisor or designee will log on to https://agency.nixle.com using his/her username and password as soon as possible in order to post an Alert message.

2.  National Weather Service advisories such as severe thunderstorm watches, tornado watches, etc. may be posted on Nixle as an Advisory message. Severe weather WARNINGS are to be posted as an Alert message on Nixle.

3. Should a NWS Watch transmitted in a previous Nixle Advisory message be subsequently upgraded to a WARNING, the supervisor or designee may return to the system and post an Alert message.

4.  At no time will an employee’s safety be compromised in order to post a message. If an event requires the employee to seek shelter and/or creates a situation where he or she cannot safely post a message, safety takes priority.

5.  To facilitate ease of use and to maintain consistency in messages, Alert and Advisory messageswill be posted using Nixle’s pre-loaded message templates when possible.

Advisories - Advisory messages are those that convey news and information about incidents or potential incidents that do not rise to the level of an Alert.  These types of incidents and events may include, but not be limited to:

·    Pre-scheduled events or gatherings of large crowds that may cause traffic congestion

·    Construction or other activity that may cause traffic delays

·    Road detours of extended duration (repeat reminders may be sent)

·    Severe weather WATCHES issued by the National Weather Service

·    Post-incident information directing City residents to take, or avoid taking, specific actions in order to remain safe

Community - Community messages should be used to convey everyday local news, happenings and developments. Community messages should not contain any time-critical information. These types of messages include but are not limited to:

·  Police Blotter

·  Event Reminder

·  Sobriety Checkpoint Notices

·  Crime Prevention Tips

·  City Council Meetings

·  Community Updates

E.             Secure Desk

Nixle provides support, documentation, and assistance through their online Secure Desk available at http://www.nixlesecuredesk.com. The secure username and password to this website will be provided to all authorized users and must be kept secure at all times.

Approved by Latrobe City Council in 2013

 

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City of Latrobe • P: 724-539-8548 • Mailing Address: P.O. Box 829, Latrobe, PA  15650 • Physical Address: 901 Jefferson St., Latrobe, PA  15650