Cottonwood Police Department
199 S. 6th Street - Cottonwood, AZ 86326 – 928.634.4246
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sergeant Monica Kuhlt
Cottonwood Police Department
(928) 340-2113 desk
Cottonwood Police Department partnering with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office for Emergency Public Notifications
Cottonwood, Ariz, June 19, 2018 — Until recently, the Cottonwood Police Department utilized a web based system locally branded as CENS or the Cottonwood Emergency Notification System. CENS, an InspironLogistics® product, allowed for the notification of emergencies or other important public safety related details to citizens via email, text message, or voice calls. Purchased 9-1-1 records allowed for a “reverse 911” type of notification while wireless users were encouraged to opt in by registering for text or email notifications.
“The CENS system was utilized very rarely for public notifications. As a municipality within Yavapai County, we were operating as an island in terms of public notification. The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office utilizes CodeRED® for emergency public notification for all of Yavapai County. It just did not make sense fiscally or operationally to have two notification systems essentially serving the same area with the potential to send conflicting messages, “stated Communications Manager, Marie Carpenter.
In 2014, when the Cottonwood Public Safety Communications Center began providing Fire/EMS dispatching services, the product HipLink® was acquired to allow for CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) software details to be relayed directly to Fire/EMS responders. “Our CAD vendor required a specific product for CAD to device messaging. We had a limited number of receiver licenses initially and they were used exclusively for Fire/EMS operations,” stated Carpenter.
“CENS was utilized on a regular basis, however,” stated Carpenter. “We found that being able to create messaging groups of our responders in the police department made for very thorough and efficient notification to manpower groups. We were very pleased with the CENS product, but again operational and fiscal efficiency were principal factors. After careful consideration, we made the decision to increase the number of receiver licenses and began using HipLink® for all internal operations notifications, so we could discontinue the revolving annual expense for CENS.”
Cottonwood Police Department leadership reached out to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office regarding emergency public notifications and the use of CodeRED®. YCSO was very amenable to working with the Cottonwood Police Department to send emergency public notifications out on Cottonwood’s behalf, should an incident require a public notification.
The Cottonwood Police Department is encouraging all residents and visitors to register for CodeRED® notifications by visiting http://www.ycsoaz.gov/community/Emergency-Preparedness/Emergency-Notification-System. A link is also available on the City of Cottonwood website. Residents and visitors are also encouraged to download the app to begin receiving notifications from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office immediately. The app is available for a free download on the App Store and Google Play.
Carpenter added, “I would also recommend that residents and visitors familiarize themselves with the Emergency Information Network website and the “READY, SET, GO!” program by visiting https://ein.az.gov/ready-set-go for tips on preparedness, awareness, and evacuation.”