Hobbs Police Turning to Texting and E-Mails to Send Out Alerts

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

Text messaging and e-mails aren't just for getting in touch with friends, now local police departments are putting that technology to work. They're hoping to create new communication opportunities with people in the Basin, even saving lives.

It's a new way of connecting the police with people in Hobbs: They'll be able to send emails and text messages anytime something important happens.

"It's basically sharing information more with the public," Officer Mike Stone with the Hobbs Police Department, said. "And the more the public knows about the police department, the better for all concerned here in the community."

The system is called Citizen Observer. It gives Hobbs Police the ability to send information about criminal activity, homeland security, wanted and missing persons, and weather and fire alerts.

"We receive hundreds of calls," Hobbs Dispatcher Chrisy Walker, said. "This will be able to give the citizens instructions so they don't have to call us with questions, and we can deal with actual emergencies instead of questions from the public."

But not only will it allow police to send alerts, but starting in March, it will allow people in Hobbs to send anonymous tips to police.

Hobbs and Albuquerque are the first New Mexico cities to pick up on the new technology. It costs the police department about $6,000 a year, but the signup is free. You can register at www.hobbspd.com.