San Diego Police Department to Receive 911 Calls From Cell Phones
The San Diego Police Department in May will begin answering emergency 911 calls from cell phones in the city, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Currently the California Highway Patrol answers wireless 911 calls. It can take as many as 40 seconds for a dispatcher to answer calls. Jeff Johnson, CHP public safety supervisor, said CHP receives about 3,000 calls daily.
CHP began answering wireless 911 calls when cell phones primarily were used to report accidents and hazards on freeways; however, the advancement of cell phone technology has made it no longer logical or beneficial for CHP to answer such calls, according to Karen Butler, program manager for the SDPD communications division.
Butler said most new cell phones are equipped with Global Positioning Systems that allow 911 call recipients to locate a caller, but the systems must be activated. She said residents should check with vendors to determine whether their phones have such technology.
Other police departments in the state also are being equipped to respond to 911 calls from cell phones (Hughes, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/7).