SARANAC LAKE - Saranac Lake Village Police are using the Internet to improve communication between residents and the department.
Chief Bruce Nason said he wants the community to have better access to the village police department, so officers are using Facebook and Nixle.com to do just that.
"We were interested in improving communication between the community and the police department," Nason said.
Nixle is a communications platform capable of sending email or text alerts to users. For police departments, it's an effective tool for dispersing information to the community.
Nason says users can receive information regarding incidents in and around Saranac Lake.
"We can send advisories, alerts and traffic messages," he said. "Those who sign up can choose how they receive messages and what type of alert they receive."
For starters, the department will issue advisories relating to weather, road conditions and emergencies.
As the program expands, the system will send messages regarding wanted persons. It can also alert residents of recent criminal activity.
"It can also take requests for information pertaining to investigations," Nason added.
The department decided to use Nixle because it offers a secure communication platform. And, there's no cost to the village.
"It is easy to use and we can quickly communicate to those who are interested in receiving the information," Nason said.
On Facebook, users can access reduction request forms, request copies of police reports, and submit house check requests. The department's website is located at www.saranaclakeny.gov.
Nason says that by utilizing numerous communication platforms, his officers can reach out to more citizens.
"I encourage people to contact us with suggestions regarding what information they would like to receive and which platform works best for them," he said.