Online service speeds up 911 process
WESTMINSTER, Colo. — In a 911 emergency call, every second counts. The more information the operator has the better.
“70 percent of our calls coming in are people on cell phones,” Westminster Police Department Communications Supervisor Missy Saggau said. “People don’t know where they are. They don’t pay attention to where they are. We have children who don’t know their address yet.”
Thanks to a new software program created by a national company called Smart911, vital information is now available instantly to 911 emergency operators.
“Citizens have to register at Smart911.com. They can put in as much information or as little information as they want,” Westminster PD police officer Cheri Spottke said. “Then when they call 911, all that information comes into the dispatch center.”
From your home’s floor plan to an existing medical condition to how many pets you have in your home – all are examples of relevant information the emergency operator will have.
For example, if a child goes missing it can take up to 30 minutes to get vital information to patrol officers. Now if your child goes missing and you’re registered with Smart911, information about the child goes out immediately to officers on the street.
So far, 20 states have signed up for the new technology. In Colorado, Lakewood, Arvada, Westminster and parts of Jefferson County have it. There is no cost for citizens to sign up with Smart911. The cost to the city of Westminster was $450,000 for a five year period.