Nixle program puts first responders at your fingertips
HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — Snapping, google’ing, tweeting; we live in a time where most of us are attached to our phones and can connect with someone at the click of a button, but did you know, in Hardin County, you can send a text to 9-1-1?
Dispatchers say this can be done through a program called Nixle. That also sends out mass notification messages about topics such as criminal activity, local events, and missing persons.
“Whether they’re community messages, traffic advisories, road closures,” said David Alexander, Hardin County 9-1-1 Director.
“To sign up for Nixle simply text your zip code to 888777. Then whenever you need to connect with a 9-1-1 dispatcher, simply text tip followed by your message to 888777.
“Then the tip comes to us and we determine whether it goes to the police department, the fire department, the sheriff’s department, or whether we send it directly back here,” Alexander said.
The Hardin County Nixle program also allows you to have a two way conversation with a dispatcher, allowing you to text them tips, suspicious activity, and ask for help when calling may not be an option.
“Individual riding in a vehicle where they didn’t feel safe with the person they were with,” said Alexander, “because they may be impaired or they may be angry.”
Alexander says he hopes spreading the word about this program will encourage people to “see something, say something.”
“You wouldn’t want to find out later that what you were looking at was something that had gone terribly wrong,” Alexander said, “and you had decided not to say anything.”
In an emergency, first responders still recommend calling 9-1-1 if possible or even getting someone you trust to call for you, before resulting to the text system.
Officials say the Nixle program is utilized by 8,000 agencies across the country. To find out if it is available in your city or county, visit www.nixle.com