HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - Feleshia Wilkins likes to stay in the know especially if there's an emergency that could impact her family.
"If something is going on you don't know until you hear about it on the news," said resident Feleshia Wilkins
Now a new way of keeping Hopewell residents informed. A computer based service called nixle.
The Hopewell Police Department is offering the service to residents for free.
"It allows us to share info not only general things such as traffic backups, but if we have an occurrence that may endanger someone in a specific location we can target that geographical location in the city," said Hopewell Police Lt. Joe Sumner.
Police say the technology would have been helpful back in December. That's when dozens of parents showed up at the high school after a bomb threat.
The notification system can contact thousands of homes and businesses within seconds. Residents must register to participate in the program. Alerts can be sent to cell phones and e-mail accounts.
"It's interactive. The citizens who subscribe to the service can give us information back - so it's a two way process," said Sumner.
Resident Dianne Pendleton has heard about similar systems in other cities. She plans on taking advantage of the program.
"That sounds good. We need other options because of the safety factor," said Dianne.
The system is offered at no cost to all government agencies. To find out more about the nixle program in Hopewell click here.