The Fairfield Police Department has added another tool to its crime-fighting arsenal -- a website that updates residents and business owners on crimes, community events and traffic alerts.

The department has signed on to nixle.com, a site that is free to law-enforcement agencies and already is in use by the Westport and Bridgeport police departments.

"We, like every other agency, are looking to increase the ways we can notify people of certain things," Chief Gary MacNamara said.

The website won't replace the department's use of the Reverse 911 system used to notify residents about emergencies, he said.

On the nixle site, there is Fairfield information ranging from details about this weekend's K-9 unit fundraiser to a photo of a suspect in a larceny.

"This is only going to work if people sign up," MacNamara said, but added that the process is simple and quick. "We have a lot of information and we are always looking for ways to get it out so people can be safer."

Sgt. Suzanne Lussier, the department's public information officer, said nixle can be used to get out word of street closures because of an accident or construction, or pass along descriptions of suspects.

MacNamara said anyone who signs up with nixle.com can select a preferred way of receiving alerts -- whether by text message or e-mail -- and it can be customized, for example, to block alerts after a certain hour at night.

To register, visit nixle.com.