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Updated: 03/28/2014 03:16:01PM

CCSO to roll out new phone app

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CHARLOTTE COUNTY — It has happened to most people. You are driving along and traffic has come to a standstill. There is an accident somewhere up ahead that has traffic snarled. If only you had known about the situation, you could have taken an alternative route. Charlotte County residents will soon have the ability to get that information much more quickly on something that most people have with them everywhere they go — their smart phones. By early May, the Sheriff’s Office will be ready to go live with a new application called Nixle. Those who sign up for this application can get notifications on their cell phones, tablets or computers about situations such as major traffic crashes, road closures, and missing endangered people.

But there is more to Nixle than just getting notifications. The service offers the public the ability to send in anonymous tips to the Sheriff’s Office. And because of the way the service is handled, members of the Sheriff’s Office will be able to correspond with the tipster without their identity being revealed. However, Nixle tips are not a substitute for dialing 911 in the event of an emergency. As part of the setup for this service, Nixle conducted a test earlier this month in which an automated test call was placed to homes with land line phone service. In addition to being able to send notifications to computers and smart phones, the Nixle service will allow the Sheriff’s Office to send out messages to specific areas when, for instance, we are searching for a missing, endangered person. The Nixle button link has already been added to the Sheriff’s Office public website at in the lower left. You can sign up on the website or with your smart phone by texting your zip code to 888777. We will be making more information available as we get closer to the actual public rollout of the Nixle services.

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