By SHERIDAN CYR
Plainville Police Chief Matthew Catania introduced a new town-wide crisis notification system, CodeRED, to Town Councilors and community members at the May 21 council meeting.
“This is a system that is being used across the country,” Catania said. “It is a tried and true commodity, and it has a hugely satisfactory performance.”
CodeRED is a notification system that residents can subscribe to for free and personalize to their needs. Messages can be sent to text message, social media, email, phone calls and more. Users can also pick and choose which messages they would like to receive.
The system can send alerts regarding chemical spills, tractor trailer roll-overs, evacuations, shelter information, missing persons, wanted criminal alerts and more. It also gives licensed coders the ability to pinpoint on a map where they would like to send notifications for issues that only pertain to a certain neighborhood or area.
“One thing we want to make sure of is that we don’t overuse this so people become desensitized,” Catania said. “It should only be used for serious issues.”
The cost for the system is $6,000 per year. Catania acknowledged the price is a large expense, but in comparison, he said, a new camera for a police cruiser is $7,500.
“This is a 2018 approach to policing that I think is very essential,” he said. “It’s something we’re bringing to the community for the welfare of the community. I think it’s important to residents, and it’s designed to keep citizens informed and aware no matter where they are.”
To sign up for notifications, visit plainvillect.com. Under the “News” tab in the center of the screen, click “Sign up for our new townwide notification system” and follow the steps. For assistance, contact Chief Catania, Lieutenant Nicholas Mullins or dispatch supervisor Al Urso at (860) 747-1616.