Wisconsin law enforcement officials say they get a lot of inadvertent or "pocket-dial" 9-1-1 calls, which require dispatchers to spend valuable time on call-backs or locating callers. Some jurisdictions also require police or sheriff's deputies to respond to the location to ensure there is no emergency.
Homeowners associations and apartment complexes in Pearland and Friendswood, Texas, helped organize events in over 53 neighborhoods to celebrate National Night Out, an event that builds relationships between residents and law enforcement. "What this does is provide a positive environment for neighbors to get out there in regards to crime trend analysis, crime prevention tips and everything down to proper use of 9-1-1 and stranger danger for the little ones," said Pearland Police officer Jason Wells.
The New York State Association of Counties says the state only sends a small portion of the nearly $200 million it collects annually from a statewide 9-1-1 surcharge on cell phones to local jurisdictions, which hampers their ability to upgrade emergency call center technology and equipment. The group supports legislation that would end state discretion in using the money and require 58.3% of it be sent to counties for 9-1-1 emergency response units.
South Carolina state Rep. Mike Pitts said he will sponsor legislation to allow first responders other than police to legally carry a gun for defense when they are dispatched to a school. Pitts, a retired police officer, said that in rural areas firefighters or other first responders are often first to a scene and should be allowed to carry a weapon.
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A memorandum signed by the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate and American Public Television Stations aims to make datacasting technology available nationwide. Datacasting allows public safety agencies to send secure data, including voice, text, files, images and video, to a targeted audience over existing television signals during emergencies.
Ten startups were selected out of 261 applicants to participate in EMERGE 2016, which will expand on efforts to develop wearable technology for first responders. The Department of Homeland Security-led project will provide developers with feedback from first responders, industry professionals and business leaders.