Alert Philadelphia - Emergency Text-based Notification System


The Center City District and the Philadelphia Police Department have partnered to establish Alert Philadelphia, an emergency communications program, which provides timely information to businesses, major employers, commercial or industrial property owners, hospitals, residential groups, community leaders, law enforcement, first responders and private security representatives among others.

Alert Philadelphia

The Alert Philadelphia initiative emerged in the aftermath of 9/11, when it became evident that there was a compelling need for a quick and reliable method to distribute emergency information at critical moments. In response, the Center City District and the Philadelphia Police Department partnered to create a text-based messaging system that uses state-of-the-art technologies to provide real-time information to the private sector, business and residential organizations, law enforcement and first responders. Since its inception, Alert Philadelphia has provided critical emergency information, updates on major incidents and has aided law enforcement with several significant apprehensions.

Information distributed has included:

  • Homeland security information
  • Protests and demonstrations
  • Crime patterns or alerts
  • Major traffic incidents
  • Fire detour information
  • Evacuation and shelter-in-place information
  • Bomb threats
  • Chemical or hazardous materials leaks
  • Amber Alert information
  • Health Department alerts
  • Scam or fraud alerts
  • Breaking news and timely informational updates regarding security and transportation alerts for high profile events in Philadelphia’s central business district.


Center City District

The Center City District (CCD) is a business improvement district. Our mission is to keep Philadelphia's downtown, clean, safe, beautiful and fun. CCD provides security, cleaning and promotional services that supplement- but do not replace- basic services provided by the City of Philadelphia and the fundamental responsibilities of property owners.

CCD also makes physical improvements to the downtown, installing and maintaining lighting, signs, banners, trees and landscape elements. The district encompasses 120 blocks and more than 4,500 individual properties. A 23-member board of directors governs CCD, representing Center City's major property owners and a wide cross section of downtown businesses, labor unions, neighborhood, civic and health-care organizations.

CCD directly bills and collects mandatory payments from properties in the district. CCD also receives voluntary contributions from the owners of tax-exempt properties that benefit from our service.


Philadelphia Police Department

The Philadelphia Police Department’s mission is to be the model of excellence in policing by working in partnership with the community and others to:

  • Fight crime and the fear of crime, including terrorism;
  • Enforce laws while safeguarding the constitutional rights of all people;
  • Provide quality service to all of our residents and visitors; and
  • Create a work environment in which we recruit, train and develop an exceptional team of employees.