Community awareness program proving to be success

By DANIEL HERATY
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS – Now in its fourth year, officials say the city’s community awareness e-mail program has been successful.

“The good thing about this is that I’ve got, now, free communication from the people I’m sending this stuff out to,” Police Cpl. Mark Parrinello said Friday.

The idea came to him after he went to meetings and saw an opportunity to inform residents about police activities. Local businesses also expressed interest in the alerts, which began in 2006 and now include information about community happenings.

“We were looking at ways to try and inform the public of what’s going on crimewise in their areas,” Parrinello said. “And with activities that the city might be providing that people aren’t aware of.”

The alerts became popular almost immediately, said Parrinello, who received between 10 and 15 e-mails per week him asking to sign up. Recipients currently number about 550.

“There’s no limit to the amount of people who can sign up for this,” he said. “And who knows how many people they’re being fanned out to?”

Businesses did not sign up immediately for the alerts, Parrinello said, but that soon changed.

“If it’s a business that could use the information that we get, we might as well use the same concept,” he said.

Currently, 15 businesses have signed up, including PostNet, 23309 Ford Road; Pumps & Systems Inc. 6256 S. Telegraph; and A & B Refrigeration, 24435 W. Warren.

“Right now, it’s a lot of small businesses,” Parinello said. “I want everybody.”

Anyone interested in signing up for the alerts can e-mail Parrinello at mparrinello@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us.

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)