Yesterday, I received an email from City’s public Service Dept. on the Nixle crime report system. As I blogged earlier, the  Nixle system allows residents to receive community crime alerts and public safety information as SMS or emails.

The email says that both Prince George’s County Police, and University of Maryland Department of Public Safety are now using to.

This is a great news, isn’t it? Getting to know the crime around one’s neighborhood is a good thing. It certainly helps us in staying more vigilant about the crime that goes in the neighborhood. And a constant vigilance in turn helps reduce crime as a whole.

In fact the PG police reported back late last year that they would start using Nixle for sending alerts on crime and other related info. I signed up then, but honestly speaking, I was disappointed by its service. First, there weren’t too many alerts I found  useful. Even if there were a few, they were more about public safety information, and not quite about the crime itself. The few crime info I recieved was mostly related to those happened in other part of the county. I cannot remember of any crime in my own neighborhood reported by Nixle.

I think the major problem with the service in relation to crime reporting in our area is the lack of live data feed. This is the data that goes to the Nixle server from the local police departments such as PGPD. The way currently this works is pretty much manual. We will only receive a Nixle alert when our police officers / captains manually report crime to Nixle. Our District 1 police Chief major Liberati told the other day he has used the system to report a few crime recently after he assumed his new position recently.

After using for several weeks last time, I stopped using it – the service was simply filling my inbox with information that I don’t really need. Yesterday’s announcement seems like indicating that some new changes are being introduced to the system. Or may be with a new police chief is in charge now, things will get better. With these hopes, I’ve reactivated my account again yesterday – to give Nixle another chance. We’ll see how it works this time.