Police services in the region are working to improve the way they respond to 9-1-1 calls.
In Prince William, the county has just rolled out its new E-911 technology. The system, which is adopted by public safety agencies across the United States, works best to pinpoint the location of the 9-1-1 caller to better help first responders find the site of the emergency. .
Because existing 9-1-1 systems have limited data and Internet protocol capabilities, it is difficult to get more data over these networks, including getting routed to the right 9-1-1 center. and to have better location information provided by mobile operators. .
Upgrading 9-1-1 infrastructure to next-generation 9-1-1 ESInet allows Prince William County to begin leveraging modern technology to handle emergency calls, in order to include better caller location information and the ability to transfer misrouted calls faster. in public safety communications and are actually intended for one of the four municipalities that surround the county.
Eventually, the county will be able to receive photos of callers reporting an incident. Once these photos are submitted, they will become the property of the county and will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
“We’re at least a year away from receiving photos from callers because our call handling equipment can’t accept photos at this time,” said Eddie Reyes, who manages the county’s public safety communications office. “But once that time arrives, yes, we will keep them for evidence for up to 180 days, in accordance with our retention policy.”
Anyone wishing to get a photo submitted by a 9-1-1 caller will be able to submit a recording order to the county public security communications department, as they will be the custodian of those images and subject to all laws of FOIA. and regulations.
In Manassas, this city is stepping up and changing the way it responds to calls involving people with mental health disorders. The City Police Department participates with the Marcus Alert System of Virginia through the RapidSOS Emergency Response Data Platform.
âEnsuring that we provide effective services to citizens remains a top priority for our agency. This new technology will help officers and dispatchers quickly provide citizens with the help they need to continue saving lives, âsaid Manassas City Police Chief Doug Keen.
The Marcus-David Peters Act, which was enacted in 2020, requires towns in Virginia to establish a voluntary database for citizens to register. The information will be made available to 9-1-1 dispatchers to provide mental health information and emergency contact information for use in emergency situations.
Once a person is registered, police officers can access registry information when called to the scene. Residents who wish to register on the list must do so at profilurgence.org, says Keen.