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Schaumburg Police Sergeant John Nebl Sets the Standard in Public Information for Public Safety and Awareness

Fri June 14 2013 8:02 am
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Schaumburg Police Department this week launched a Twitter account (@SchaumburgNebl) dedicated to Schaumburg police press releases, community alerts, and specific tweets retweeted from the Village of Schaumburg Twitter account (@SchaumburgIL).

As the Public Information Officer for the Village of Schaumburg, Sergeant Nebl wasted no time establishing the Twitter account when police radios were no longer capable of being monitored by the media and concerned citizens. He thoroughly understands how lack of citizen awareness regarding public safety incidents is a safety problem on its own.

On the emergency scene Sergeant Nebl sets the standard for police and public safety interaction with the public and the media, and his fellow first responders. When assigned to police activity at fire/rescue scenes, Nebl is proactive by monitoring fire communications while firefighters are at work at an emergency scene. His vigilance results in the police department being ready to act before they even receive the request from fire command. Before police/fire scanners became obsolete on June 5, 2013 for much of the fire communications in the northwest suburbs, Nebl fully used a scanner to monitor the big picture during emergency operations. He is still able to hear what mutual aid equipment is arriving in Schaumburg with a scanner, but in order to hear fireground communications in an emergency he has to put his own police-issued radio on scan mode, or listen to a second Schaumburg-issued radio to hear the fire side without missing the police-side communications.

Additionally with his vigilance, he is the antithesis of “the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing” which is so common in government. He is more capable than most professionals at absorbing and releasing the complete picture, which the public has a right to know and understand. From his heart, he wants people to understand how crises, fires and crashes happen, so people might learn and prevent many hazards that could put their own lives at risk.

Nebl also makes it clear that he wants to work cooperatively with the media. Another reason he set up the police Twitter account was to eliminate the need for the media to spend energy filtering out the higher profile news events from the general Schaumburg twitter account. Already, the Village of Schaumburg general Twitter account is managed well with continuous alerts about traffic and road closures, weather events that might affect citizens, police activity; and also includes commerce and community event information. The citizens of Schaumburg now have the best of both worlds regarding tweets from the village.

Schaumburg Police Department is the first police agency in the Northwest Central Dispatch System (NWCDS) to activate a Twitter account for a wide range of incidents — from traffic to major crime incidents. The NWCDS 911 Center, which switched to a secret police radio system that prevents the use of a police scanner (a primary and traditional tool of the news media) prevents citizens from being fully aware of public safety emergencies.

Arlington Heights police have a useful Twitter account, but releases are mostly limited in intervals throughout the week regarding property crimes and alerts about suspicious persons, and some, but not all violent crimes.

Arlington Heights Fire Department has no active Twitter account, and does not issue press releases.

On Wednesday, The Cardinal reported that many of the police and fire agencies in the northwest suburbs have FAILED to provide an alternative consideration for keeping people aware of public safety incidents after the switch to secret police radio dispatches.

Major cities and major metropolitan areas, such Arlington (Virginia), Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, Portland (Oregon) have taken extra considerate measures for their citizens by providing information on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, or on dedicated web pages that show Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD). Schaumburg is now among the leaders.

Portland, Oregon even makes the extra effort to inform citizens on the source of a smoke column …

FDNY reports in real time regarding a major rescue operation Wednesday at the Hearst Building, 300 West 57th Street New York, NY (See High-Angle Rescue After Window Washer Scaffold Collapse at Hearst Tower)…

Sergeant Nebl has extensive training, certification, and operational experience in crime prevention, personal safety, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, police use of force, firearms, and defense and arrest control tactics. Sergeant Nebl has been involved in policy development and employee training related to bomb threat response, building evacuation and emergency procedures, work place violence, school safety (Code Red school lock-down), police use of force, police firearms, and police control tactics.

Sergeant Nebl was an honorable mention recipient as a runner-up for the 2003 Police Officer of the Year from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Parade Magazine. He was the 2004 Illinois VFW Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and received the Cook County Sheriff Law Enforcement Award of Merit in 2000. Nebl has also received nine Honorable Mentions and one Chief’s Award of Merit from the Schaumburg Police Department.

See also Public Information Leaders in the Public Safety Sector …
Arlington Virginia Police Live Computer Aided Dispatch …

Boston Fire Department —

Chicago Fire Department Twitter — …

Los Angeles Fire Department Twitter — …

New York FDNY —

Portland Fire Department Twitter —

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