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Hinesburg police e-mail residents with the news

April 17, 2001

HINESBURG, Vt. (AP) — Residents who want to know the latest news from their police department will soon have to look no further than their computers.

The Hinesburg Community Police are working on a system to send e-mail bulletins to interested residents, notifying them of events in the town they should be aware of.

"We've done things like this before," Police Chief Chris Morrell said, "but we did it the old-fashioned way, to make a flier . . . and ask if we can post it. This is a lot more efficient."

E-mails would warn residents of burglaries or vandalism, wanted suspects and suspicious activity, as well as seek help in solving crimes. Morrell believes an e-mail system would be more effective than simply posting information on a Web site, because people are more likely to regularly check their e-mail.

About 20 individuals and business owners have signed up.

"I just want to know what's going on," says Donna Cunningham, a town resident. "It's always interesting to get an update on what's going on in our community."

Residents take particular interest in knowing when crimes are committed in their neighborhoods.

"It simply makes sense to know what's happening in town," says Roger Kohn. "People can protect themselves better if they have an idea of where break-ins are occurring."

Morrell said the police department communicates with truck drivers and school buses over two-way radio, making it easier for the community to be aware of police activity.

"If you're going to have a partner, you have to keep them informed," he said, "and this is the way to do it now that the technology is here."

Copyright 2001 Associated Press


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