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Beline Obeid

December 27, 2012
GROSSE POINTE SHORES AND FARMS — It's rare to see a crime alert for Grosse Pointe Shores on Nixle.com, an Internet site for official public safety warnings.

This is mainly due to the lack of imminent danger in the residential community.

The Shores has a Nixle account, but it isn't active.

"The problem with Nixle is you have to have a dispatch center to post the information in a timely fashion," said John Schulte, Shores public safety director.

The Shores closed its in-house public safety dispatch center last year and contracted the work to Grosse Pointe Farms public safety headquarters on Kerby.

"If we respond to an incident of significance, we need to get the Farms to coordinate with us and post (Nixle) information in a timely process," Schulte said. "If my supervisors and officers are on the street handling the incident, they're not going to have time to come in and post the information."

Dan Jensen, Farms chief, said Nixle messages can be posted without a dispatcher.

"Once you have an account and account managers — and I have several who can post a Nixle alert — they do it," Jensen said.

All Farms Nixle alerts must be reviewed by a supervisor.

"The (Grosse Pointe) Woods system works well, but they have two dispatchers on duty, which really helps them disseminate the information," Schulte said.

Shores officials solicited bids to subcontract their dispatching to save money.

"Since we took over the Shores, we have two dispatchers working the heaviest hours, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., basically," Jensen said. "They're on midnights, too, when scheduling allows."

Farms commanders sometimes order Nixle alerts via e-mail or text message. Postings don't have to be submitted from a dispatch center.

"Lt. Andy Rogers has put out Nixle alerts from his cell phone at home off duty," Jensen said.

"The Shores knows how to get information to us," said a Farms dispatcher. "They're driving up and down Lakeshore every day anyway. Just turn up Kerby."

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