If a traffic accident causes multiple lane closures on a busy street or a major shooting incident happens in Coral Gables, residents will soon have an option to get alerts sent directly to their smartphone.
Commissioners approved a five-year contract with In-telligent, LLC at Tuesday’s meeting that will bring a new digital alert system to the city for public safety alerts. The alerts will be sent out primarily through the police department and fire rescue.
The system allows for customization so users can set the alerts to appear in their preferred language. Alerts can include attachments, including PDF files.
“We hope that we never have to use it,” said Frank Fernandez, assistant city manager. “If it can save one life it will be well worth it.”
In-telligent is providing services to the city at no cost other than the city promoting the technology. The alert system will have to be downloaded separately but will also be integrated into the city’s existing smartphone app. The technology is also set up to give a standard push alert for less severe incidents or a more significant alert, similar to an Amber alert, for bigger emergencies.
The alerts will be provided for free on a subscriber basis. They will be tied to geographic location as users will be given the option to sign up for alerts only when they’re in the city’s boundaries. The city will also be able to limit targeted alerts to certain areas.
“The police department can decide whether they want to let the whole city know, or just one block,” Vice Mayor Frank Quesada said.
The Illinois-based company also has an agreement with the city of Doral. Former Miami commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who lobbied on behalf of the company, said it plans to do more work in South Florida.