Rochester Police have a new way to send critical information and messages to thousands of people at the same time.
It's called CodeRED, and it's a switch from the Hyper-Reach system the department formerly used.
Sgt. Robert Snow says the new web-based notification service can send emergency messages to thousands of people within minutes.
"They can get messages on their smartphones, alerting to any criminal activity or any dangerous situation in a certain neighborhood, as long as you have that mobile app," he said.
Snow says people without smart phones can still get the alerts through their land lines.
Snow adds CodeRED can draw a map around a neighborhood and notify cell phones and land line numbers that are registered within the boundary of the map.
He says that can be very important in certain emergency situations.
"A barricaded gunman, we can draw a map where we want to send messages out, and alert citizens to shelter in place, stay away from doors, so we can designate where we want that message to go," he said.
Citizens and visitors alike can sign up for the notification system.
Here's a link to sign up for the service