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Town of Beloit using online information service

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ANN MARIE AMES
August 13, 2010
— Get ready to get to-the-minute information about what's happening in Beloit Township.

The Town of Beloit Police Department has started using Nixle.com as a means to keep residents informed about what's going on in the town.


The website delivers neighborhood-level public safety information by means of e-mails or texts messages to people who sign up for alerts, Sgt. Laura Palmer wrote in a news release.


The department will use the site to disperse information about traffic crashes, road closings, burglaries or emergencies, Palmer said.


"It's another tool to keep communicating with the community," she said.


Palmer said other town departments such as police or public works could start using the service. The goal is to have two or three people in town departments be authorized to update information, Palmer said.


The Rock County Sheriff's Office also uses Nixle.com as a tool for distributing information. The Janesville Police Department also has an account, although no updates have been listed for 10 months.


Government agencies may sign up at no cost to distribute information to residents. Business owners can pay for the service.


Signing up to get alerts is free and takes only a few minutes.


Users must create a user name and account as well as enter a full name and address or intersection. Including a telephone number and other information is optional.


Alerts are distributed by geographic location, not necessarily by municipality. For example, a user doesn't sign up to get notifications from the town of Beloit. Instead, you must enter the name of a street in the township to get the notices.


Entering a street in downtown Janesville automatically signs a user up for notifications from the Rock County Sheriff's Office, the Janesville Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Users can sign up to get notifications using more than one address.


Notifications are labeled "traffic," "advisory," or "community."



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