Most Clicked Public Safety SmartBrief Stories

1. 9-1-1 dispatchers eye domestic violence response

Public Safety SmartBrief | May 13, 2015

Emergency dispatchers complete rigorous training to learn how to respond to cases, but they must go through eight more hours -- in addition to the 40-hour training -- to learn how to speak with victims of domestic violence. "We try to train our dispatchers and have them understand these are definitely victims," said James Lake, director of Charleston County (S.C.) Dispatch. "Their concerns, their issues have to be handled very gently. And we have to be very empathetic to what their needs are." The Christian Science Monitor (05/06)

2. Homeland Security: Hackers could target 9-1-1 systems

Public Safety SmartBrief | May 13, 2015

A Department of Homeland Security division is warning that emergency call centers in the U.S. may be susceptible to cyberattacks that could shut down 9-1-1 systems and prevent people from getting emergency assistance. According to data issued by NENA at the end of March, more than 200 9-1-1 systems had been hacked. Hill, The (05/08)

3. New technology creates more tools for swatting, spoofing

Public Safety SmartBrief | May 20, 2015

New technology is creating more opportunities and a wider audience for swatting, or placing a fake 9-1-1 call. Meanwhile, call centers are spending billions of dollars to update call-taking technology, said NENA's Christopher Carver. Some states, including New York, may pass legislation to increase punishments for swatting and spoofing. American Public Media/Marketplace (05/19)

4. Report: Dispatchers have trouble locating cellphone callers

Public Safety SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

A Florida TV station investigation found 9-1-1 dispatchers have trouble locating people calling from cellphones. For example, a call made from within the Orange County Fire Rescue 9-1-1 center appeared to come from a cell tower a half-mile away. Dispatchers in Orange County can find an exact location 86% of the time, according to local data, while in Seminole County the success rate is 80% and in Lake County it is 48%. WFTV-TV (Orlando, Fla.) (04/24)

5. Police officers, paramedics picked to temporarily fill 9-1-1 vacancies

Public Safety SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

Maryland's Baltimore County decided to fill some of its 9-1-1 call-center vacancies using police officers and paramedics with prior dispatch experience. The seven employees were called in for up to a year to fill in until new hires are trained. Union officials have raised concerns with the plan. The Baltimore Sun (04/17)

6. Dispatcher: Job requires "intense level of multitasking"

Public Safety SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

The Daily Astorian (Astoria, Ore.) (04/27)

7. Viruses breach Mass. police, fire networks

Public Safety SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

Fire and police departments in Massachusetts have been hit by cyberattacks and ransom threats from malicious software breaching state networks, State Police officials say. Officials say they're working to protect sensitive data and backing up information to prevent loss of critical data. The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Mass.) (04/15)

8. San Francisco dispatchers deal with rising call volume, response times

Public Safety SmartBrief | May 06, 2015

San Francisco Chronicle (free content) (04/30)

9. N.D. county's 9-1-1 back up after technical problems

Public Safety SmartBrief | May 13, 2015

On Saturday night the 9-1-1 system's phones were down for 11 hours in North Dakota's Grand Forks County, but the system is back up and running. During the outage, calls were routed through Fargo. WDAZ-TV (Grand Forks, N.D.) (05/10)

10. Report raises concerns about Seattle 9-1-1 center's technology, staffing

Public Safety SmartBrief | May 13, 2015

KIRO-TV (Seattle) (05/07)

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