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No City-wide Policy on use of Nixle Reverse-911 Emergency Alert System

City officials have confirmed there is no city-wide policy for the use of the Nixle reverse-911 alert system. (File photo)

City officials have confirmed there is no city-wide policy for the use of the Nixle reverse-911 alert system. (File photo)

City of Alameda officials confirmed this week that there is no city-wide policy governing the use of the Nixle reverse-911 emergency alert system. In recent months, Action Alameda News has reported on, and readers have complained about, non-emergency uses of the system.

An Alameda Police Department spokesperson has provided Action Alameda News with a two-page document governing that department’s use of the system – “…to rapidly disseminate emergency information directly to the community when deemed necessary…” – but no such policy document exists to govern use of the system by the Alameda Fire Department or the City Manager’s office.

As one example, readers complained to Action Alameda News in April about a press release sent as a Nixle alert by the Alameda Fire Department, quoting then-City Manager John Russo on a plan to fund lifetime medical benefits for public safety employees.

Both the City Clerk and Interim Assistant City Manager Amy Wooldridge have confirmed that no formalized policy exists for any city use of Nixle outside of the police department.

Ms. Wooldridge did say that the city is in the process of hiring a Public Relations Officer who will be tasked with developing a policy for the use of Nixle and other communications vehicles such as social media.

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