New 911 System Gives Responders Huge Boost
The Minneapolis Police Department has a new dispatching tool for its 911 center, allowing dispatchers to visually track the movements of every police car, fire truck, and ambulance on the streets via the global positioning system.
In addition, police can access an aerial view of crime scenes to determine which cars are closest to the scene and then dispatch those cars as quickly as possible.
The new system cost $4.3 million, and was funded through a federal Department of Homeland Security grant.
When a 911 operator forwards a call to a police dispatcher, the computer system automatically locates the nearest vehicles to the address from which the call originated. Information about vehicle location is never more than 10 seconds old.
In addition, the system can inform officers via their laptop computers which other squad cars are responding to a particular crime scene.
Fire trucks are also being equipped with laptops connected to the system, allowing them to receive turn-by-turn directions to a scene and look at the architectural plans and any particular hazards of the building to which they are heading.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Minneapolis Star Tribune (04/11/07) P. 1A; Chanen, David.