Chandler PD enhances 911 location detection The Chandler Arizonan

Chandler PD enhances 911 location detection

Chandler PD enhances 911 location detection
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ARIZONAN NEWS STAFF

Chandler’s emergency dispatchers are utilizing new technology to help them precisely pinpoint the locations of 911 callers.

The Chandler Police Department said the Jurisdiction View, an application providing immediate geographical coordinates for calls made from cell phones, enables dispatchers as soon as they receive a call to see a signal on a citywide map showing exactly where it is coming from.

Chandler Police had already been able to trace cellular calls, said Sgt. Jason McClimans, but the coordinates were not as accurate as what can be detected by Jurisdiction View.

Since not as many emergency calls are made through landlines, McClimans said there was a need for better technology to find calls being made from anyplace at any time.

The new application finds a caller more quickly and can trace the caller’s movements in real-time, McClimans said.

If a caller is lost and doesn’t know their location, then Jurisdiction View could theoretically find them without the caller having to describe their surroundings.

Or if a caller is on the run from a suspect, the dispatcher wouldn’t have to ask what direction they’re headed because the app is rapidly updating the victim’s movements.

RapidSOS, a New York-based tech company, developed the application by pulling hordes of data collected by Google, Uber, and Apple.

The flow of information being shared everywhere between phones, cars and buildings allowed RapidSOS to build a clearinghouse of data able to be accessed by 911 dispatchers.

The application further permits dispatchers to sift out 911 callers from a cluster of other calls coming in simultaneously.

When a dozen citizens call to report the same car accident, the dispatcher can also isolate nearby calls for non-related emergencies.

“With Jurisdiction View, 911 is able to plan out their response more efficiently than ever before,” said Tom Guthrie, RapidSOS’s vice president of public safety.

“They’ll be able to see exactly when and where emergencies are happening, and better assess the clustering and separation of these emergency service requests,” he added.

The company is letting public safety agencies to utilize Jurisdiction View for free.

Michelle Cahn, a spokesperson for Rapidsos, said the company’s able to offer the service at no cost because it makes money by providing a 911-call feature on apps used by Uber and Lyft.

RapidSOS helps the ride-hailing companies provide a discreet texting or calling function for riders needing to report an emergency.

When it comes to how RapidSOS handles all the data it gathers, Cahn said the company quickly disposes of it after 911 calls have ended.

“We do not access the data and our systems are designed to automatically delete all emergency-related personal information we collect within 12 hours of collection,” Cahn said.

The company spent several years studying how first responders handle 911 calls to develop a platform it could ideally connect citizens with public safety more efficiently.

Chandler Police was one of the first agencies to pilot and integrate Jurisdictional View into its operations and claims it has already helped officers better respond to calls.

Michelle Potts, Chandler’s communications manager, said the app came to the rescue of a distressed man needing medical attention.

He had contacted dispatchers through a non-serviced initialized call, which kept dispatchers from calling the man back to gather more information on his location.

But Jurisdiction View was able to automatically display a phone number and address.   

“With this, we were able to send officers to the location displayed and the male was transported and saved,” Potts recalled. “Without Jurisdiction View, there would have been no way to access this information and the male may have never been found.”

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