County implements notification system
Evacuations, missing or endangered children, crime alerts and other emergency announcements can all necessitate that a large number of people be notified in a short amount of time.
St. Croix and Pierce County have implemented a mass notification system called CityWatch to address this challenge. The database used in CityWatch is created from the confidential 911 landline database collected and maintained by AT&T.
This database includes landline phones only, which could result in a significant number of the area's population missing an important notification message. Wireless phones, including cellular and VoIP, as well as landline phones (work numbers) that aren't affiliated with the target address would not be part of the notification process.
CityWatch targets the public through the use of the property address. An emergency alert is launched based on the notification needs of a specific neighborhood, community or region.
The basic question that a resident of a county will have to ask themselves is whether they want to be immediately notified about a serious event through an emergency alert announcement. Citizens are assured that this tool will not be used for non-public safety purposes. The law specifically prohibits the use of the 911 database for general, non-emergent announcements.
Citizens of Pierce and St. Croix County can register alternate phone numbers as well as email addresses in order to increase the chances of receiving these alerts in a timely manner.
This system does not include weather alerts. Citizens are encouraged to rely on local news as well as weather alerting tools triggered by the National Weather Service.
This is a one-time only registration process and citizens should be aware that the responsibility falls on them to register any changes related to address, phone or email. In other words, if a citizen registers and ties their work/cell number and/or email to their home address and then moves, it will be necessary to submit a change otherwise they will continue to receive messages related to their old address.