The Westport Police Department’s CodeRed system seems to work.  Westporters who sign up for the “reverse 911” program have received information about — and helped resolve — issues like missing or suicidal persons.

(I’m surprised, though, that the CodeRed calls provide intimate details like bipolarity and full names.)

CodeRed calls are also used for weather emergencies — most notably, the March nor’easter and last month’s non-tornado — and traffic problems.

Most Westporters appreciate the CodeRed calls, and have learned to recognize the “866” number that shows up on Caller ID.  We’re no longer alarmed at, or puzzled by, the 10-second lag between when we answer and when the call begins.

However, all is not perfect in CodeRed-ville.  Consider this comment from an “06880” reader:

Last Friday I was awakened at 6:30 a.m. by both my cell phone and landline loudly ringing at the same time.  It was the Westport PD CodeRed regarding cars that had been broken into in the Old Hill area.

While I appreciate the warning, it seemed unnecessary to call so early.  Anyway, I got an early start that day, and got a lot accomplished, as did many other Westporters I’m sure.

P. S.  I keep my car locked in my garage – seems like a good idea to me.

And — while we’re on the topic of cop communications — what’s up with Nixle?  That’s the add-on feature recently offered by the Police Department — a “social networking” tool that sends bulletins by email and text.

I signed up for all 3 options offered:  “advisories, traffic, community.”  I wasn’t sure what “community” meant, but I figured the cops would keep me up to date on what I needed to know.

Well, this is what it means:

The Westport Police Department today received a donation of two police bicycles from a local business.

New Country Toyota of 777 Post Road East, Westport, donated two new police bicycles.  The new bikes were presented to the department by General Manager James Tucker.  The new police bikes, along with two donated by New Country Toyota in 2008, will be used by police officers specially trained for bike patrol.

The value of bike-mounted police officers was demonstrated during the fireworks this year when bike officers responded, cleared traffic lanes and guided needed medical equipment for EMS units inside the beach within a couple of minutes, despite thousands of vehicles leaving at the same time.

“The police department is very grateful to New Country Toyota for this donation,” said Deputy Chief Dale E. Call, “especially in these difficult economic times, their continued support of the community is greatly appreciated .”

Um, that’s nice.

Officer David Wolf, New Country Toyota GM James Tucker and detective Sereniti Dobson show off the Police Department's new bikes.

Congratulations, I guess, and thanks to New Country Toyota (I assume the bikes were cheaper to donate than new Highlanders).

But you’ll understand, I’m sure, if I delete “Community” from my list of alerts.  I do want to know what’s going on in town.

I just don’t need to know that our cops now have 2 more bikes.

5 responses to “TMI

  1. Wendy Crowther

    I had the same mixed reaction to the 6:30 a.m. Code Red call. My initial fear was that something horrid had happened on the I-95 or Metro North. My apologies to the King’s Highwayers, but I was relieved to hear that it was about car break-ins.

    When I contemplated whether an incident like this was serious enough to warrant a Code Red alert, I decided that it was. Maybe a few more people would get into their cars that morning, see they’d suffered a similar event, and know to contact police. Apparently there were 30 other cars “disturbed” overnight and the “perps” were caught. I’m not sure whether Code Red observers helped police sniff out their escape route, but the info gathered will help build a good case in court, and everyone got their stuff back.

    A few years ago, my driveway was the target of a similar break-in. Luckily, I always keep my car locked. However, a visitor did not. The offender wasn’t caught. It was a creepy feeling to know someone had been lurking on my property during the night. I called all my neighbors to give them the head’s up. Code Red could have done it for me.

    Regarding the bi-polar, suicidal, missing person last week – I’m glad he was found, and safe. But I also questioned the use of his full name and diagnosis. It would have been enough to know that he was missing, possibly suicidal, possibly dangerous, and had a first name of “whatever.”

    Code Red has my “thumbs up” vote. When used, it seems to have played a part in controlling or solving the announced problem. I sleep easier knowing it’s there. I suspect it will get better with time as Westporters provide feedback.

  2. Dan,

    Thanks again for sharing information about CodeRED. Great thoughts in your post.

    Thanks for your comment and support of CodeRED.

  3. The Dude Abides

    Since I don’t answer the telephone, CodeRED is irrevalent. The neighbors seem to go beserk when an Alzheimer victim goes array. I always wonder why such patients don’t have some kind of tracking device attached to their body. Otherwise, CodeRED seems like a waste of budgetry funds that could be better spent on traffic control and idiot drivers.
    I have long advocated that everyone in America be given a bike to replace their cars. Just think of the pollution,health,culturiological issues it will solve. Perhaps in the afterlife . . . .

  4. Westport does have a tracking system which is used to locate missing persons. Those enrolled in the program, often people with Alzheimer’s, are given a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal that can be picked up by the Police Department. It is called “Project LifeSaver” and was funded by the Westport Woman’s Club several years ago through the club’s Ruegg Grant. The average search and find time is less than thirty minutes in most cases. It has become one of the nation’s most successful and highly regarded missing persons rescue programs ever introduced and Westport was one of the first towns in Connecticut to have such a program. Information can be obtained from the Westport Police Department.

  5. The Dude Abides

    That’s wonderful. Thanks for the info. Wooger, you need to hire Rose here as an investigative stringer.