The Somers Point Police Department is launching a citywide emergency notification system, CodeRED, which will enable police to send calls and text blasts, police said.

The program is scheduled to launch in September, which is when residents will be able to register for it. A link to do so will be provided on the city's website. Those interested don't have to be a Somers Point resident to sign up, although the alerts will be specific to the city.

CodeRED can target its alerts to people living in a certain area of town or send it to the entire city at a rate of about 1,000 calls per minute.

Police Chief Michael Boyd said the department has been visiting with city groups to get the word out about the new program and to solicit signups. It already has more than 4,500 phone numbers of locals in its database from the phone companies, which will be automatically added to CodeRED.

Registration will not be negated if people try to register and are already on the list.

"If you're not sure if you're on it, sign up again," Boyd said.

He said the department will use CodeRED only in emergencies, such as area evacuations and unexpected road closings. In such cases, anyone registered will receive an automated phone call, and if they opted for it, a text message.

"We felt this was something we needed, especially given the storms we've had in the past " he said.

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