Michael Slevin of Baylin Mount Temple Community Text Alert provided a background to their use of the CommunityAlerts.ie Text Alert service and how it has been used for approximately 18 months as an excellent example of community text alert service in Co. Westmeath. The group are affiliated to Muintir na Tire and are operating in the Athlone Garda District (Westmeath Garda Division).
Case Study: Baylin Mount Temple, by Michael Slevin (Chairman):
Due to an increase in criminal activity in our area and surrounds a number of people got together and spoke to an Garda Siochana on what could be done in relation to improving the situation in our area. The group were directed to speak to the Crime Prevention Officer for the region. Following on from a meeting with him a general meeting was called and upwards on 150 people attended. The Crime prevention Officer gave a presentation and Muintir Na Tire were also present as they were invited on the advice of the Crime Prevention Officer. Documentation was distributed throughout the attendance and at the conclusion of the meeting a Committee was elected to set up a local Community Alert. A Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer were elected as was a Committee. The new Chairman wanted two representatives from each town land within the parish and they were put in place by people who offered their services. We ended up with 28 on a Committee.
A number of meeting took place with the Committee and it was agreed that we would need a contribution from each household within the parish should they wish to join the scheme. The contribution figure was agreed. We ended up with in excess of 500 households contributing. PL Insurance was arranged to cover all committee members. An application form was designed and the catchment areas designed for the committee. The two committee members from the areas delivered and collected the forms together with the monies and reported back to a meeting within a month. A subcommittee was chosen to arrange signs to be made and agree design with Muintir Na Tire, meet with the Co. Council and agree where they could be erected, and agree a team of people to put all in place when delivered.
The Chairman and Secretary were given the task of arranging a service provider for the scheme. A number of providers across the country were interviewed to ascertain what type of service they could provide and more importantly what training and backup they could provide. Cost per text was also a determining factor. CommunityAlerts.ie was chosen as our provider due to their hands on approach and their sheer professionalism. We uploaded all our data on to their systems under the Data Protection Acts and complete confidentially in ensured for all members at all times. In fact their team spent a considerable amount of time working with us and An Garda Siochana to make the system for sending out texts as user friendly as possible at minimum cost. Since we started the scheme we have had no issues with the system and we are contacted on a regular basis by the Managing Director to see if their service meets our requirements. We buy credits from CommunityAlerts.ie and our account is structured and visible as to how much we spend per group text, who received them and who did not for different reasons (small numbers) but could be because of coverage etc. In fact we can structure our texts to send to different areas within our parish should we so wish, to the Committee separately or to an individual if desired.
Mr. Michael Slevin, Chairman of Baylin Mount Temple Community Text Alert, Co. Westmeath