Brooklyn Center is joining the CodeRED emergency notification system, a third-party cloud-based notification platform that can provide residents with tailored public safety alerts through multiple mediums.
“I am excited about this new technology and communications platform that we are gaining access to,” said Cmdr. Garett Flesland, of Brooklyn Center Police Department.
“It does offer us a new way to communicate with and engage our community. It appears that it will give us more control than other platforms, which should help allow for better and more personable communications and information delivery.”
Residents can sign up for the notification system for free.
“Whether you’re a homeowner, a business, travel through or around Brooklyn Center, you can sign up for it,” said Todd Berg, fire chief. “It just gives out emergency notifications, so the way we have it set up, you get weather notifications from the National Weather Service, and then just a couple of us Brooklyn Center employees have access to send out notifications … we need the residents to sign up.”
Subscribers can customize their notification settings and filter the messages based on their location and the types of messages they are interested in receiving.
In situations varying from an advancing tornado, to a city-wide curfew or an active crime scene, the app could provide residents with location-based alerts and updates.
“We could do emergency notifications as a potential gas leak, a water main break – you could be out of water – and you can go in and just circle the block of people that would be out of water,” Berg said. “If they’re signed up for (CodeRED), then their phone will ping.”
Notifications can be sent by email, text message, home phone, or though the app.
“We are also considering how we might use it to help when we are investigating missing kids and missing adults,” Flesland said.
Berg said the city may use the program for more than strictly hazardous emergency situations.
“Let’s say tonight, the recreation department’s going to cancel all outdoor activities, they could get that notification out to people through this program,” he said. “All sorts of city events, whether it’s a parade, you can use it for a farmer’s market, or whatever it may be. … It just enhances the city’s way to communicate with the citizens.”
Flesland concurred, saying the city is considering its use in non-emergency situations.
Brooklyn Center joins Crystal, New Hope, Maple Grove and Golden Valley, among other cities, in implementing the system.
“We’ll be building it as we use it,” Berg added.
To sign up for CodeRED alerts, visit the city’s website at ci.brooklyn-center.mn.us.
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