Denton police weren't happy when a fake Twitter page showed up online. Instead, the department turned to an alternative service.
The Denton Police Department has started using Nixle.com, a site that only allows real cops to sign up.
"I had to fax them a copy of my police ID to prove that I was really who I said I was." said Officer Ryan Grelle, who is in charge of the department's Nixle page.
Nixle allows departments to send out e-mails or text-message alerts on everything from traffic problems to missing adults and kids, crime warnings and weather hazards.
The Web site's template makes it easy for officers to point, click, type a few words and send away. It even has an option to send to a Twitter page.
Grelle said the Nixle allows residents to know the information isn't bogus.
"They know that the information coming off this Web site is the Denton Police Department," he said.
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Denton police and the Krum Police Department are the only two law enforcement operations going "live" with the system. Grelle said other departments are just testing the program.
Nixle allows residents to sign up free of charge. They provide some information and choose how they want the alerts sent to them -- either by text or e-mail. Grelle said the site is also free to use for the police department and free for residents to receive alerts, although standard text-messaging rates apply. If users have a plan with "unlimited" texts, it won't cost them a dime.
Grelle said the site can also send out alerts to certain specific areas based on address. The program allows the officers to send alerts from within a half-mile to 20-mile radius of where something is happening.
To sign up for the service, log on to Nixle.com.