The CodeRED mobile app

The CodeRED mobile app allows users to see notifications that have been issued by surrounding towns. (Photograph by Jaymie Baxley/The Pilot)

Carthage has entered into a contract with a Florida vendor to send emergency notifications to residents.

CodeRED is a mass alerting system developed by OnSolve, a technology company that specializes in software solutions for government agencies. Thousands of public safety organizations use the service to transmit texts, emails and other digital notifications during emergencies.

In Moore County, the system has been adopted by police departments in Southern Pines and Whispering Pines. Nixle, a competing service, is used by the Moore County Sheriff’s Office.

“We were originally leaning toward Nixle,” said Tom Robinson, town manager for Carthage. “But as we got into it we realized that CodeRED might be the better system and it’s half the price.”

During Monday's meeting of the Carthage Board of Commissioners, Robinson said the annual cost for mass notification services through Nixle is $5,000. He said the town will pay only $2,000 for yearly use of CodeRED.

Chief Bart Davis of the Carthage Police Department said he was impressed after seeing a demonstration of the system. His department is the town agency likely to get the most mileage out of CodeRED, which is often used by police to disseminate information about missing people and fugitives.

“It’s very similar to Nixle, but it does have a few features that Nixle does not offer,” Davis said.

OnSolve touts the service for having the “longest history of successful implementations and innovation” in the notification systems industry. According to the company’s website, CodeRED was used to “quickly send critical communications” during the Boston Marathon attack in 2013.

Robinson said town employees would "begin (work) immediately to put CodeRED in place." Residents can sign up to receive alerts by downloading the free CodeRED app, which is available for most mobile devices.

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