The Beloit Police Department has just begun using a new text and/or email alert system aimed at keeping local residents apprised of ongoing emergencies around town. Chief Norm Jacobs told the Beloit Daily News that the system, called Nixle, will allow local police to alert the community to “neighborhood emergencies, community crime alerts or traffic problems."
This service is becoming relatively common in cities around the country as police departments ramp up their efforts to communicate directly with the communities they serve. To register for Beloit's version, go to http://www.nixle.com/.
If this all sounds very familiar, that's because you're thinking of the college's Connect Ed system, which performs a similar service specifically for faculty, staff and students. And yes, it doesn't get used much, but that is a good thing.