Belleville, Ill., is now answering 9-1-1 calls for Swansea as part of a state-mandated consolidation of public safety answering points. The merger comes after a state law requiring counties with more than 250,000 people to reduce 9-1-1 call centers by half.
Residents of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, can use text messaging to contact 9-1-1 in case of emergency, starting July 1. The text will go to the Cleveland dispatch center if it comes from the city, and the Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System if it comes from outside the city.
AT&T's rivals are ready with alternatives in case a state chooses to opt out of FirstNet. A group led by Rivada Networks that includes Harris Corp., Intel, Fujitsu, Ericsson and Nokia aims to develop its own interoperable Radio Access Network solution for states that opt out.
Wisconsin might get nearly $7 million to upgrade dispatch centers statewide to NextGen9-1-1 capabilities under a pending budget bill. With the new technology, over time, "we would be able to have a better idea where people are sitting ... to know even a seat in a stadium," said Kathy Sukus, communication director at the Rock County Communication Center.
Officers in The West Lafayette, Ind., Police Department will get new body cameras with apps like location tracking and safety features. "An officer-down feature -- basically a cellphone -- it goes vertical, it senses that and it sends an alert to dispatch and every officer working that we have an officer down," said Chief Jason Dombkowski.
The Pasadena, Calif., Police Department is considering using high-tech microphone sensors to detect and locate gunshots in neighborhoods. Such microphones have gotten mixed reactions from agencies that use them, along with some privacy rights concerns.