April 26, 2011
911 systems slow to make shift to text-messaging
The growth of technology has left 911 behind writes The Washington Post. Although people can send a text to vote for the next American Idol, they can’t send one to report the East Coast Rapist in Prince William or anywhere else.
Modernizing 911 has taken on renewed urgency as the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaches, but actual progress is slow and could be years away in many places.
... Consumer expectation has already outpaced 911 capabilities. When Verizon Wireless customers send a text message to 911, they get this reply: “Please make a voice call to 911.” Other simple actions, including sending 911 a smartphone photo of a car speeding from a robbery, are also impossible.
Today, about 70 percent of the 240 million 911 calls received each year come from wireless phones, according to the Arlington-based National Emergency Number Association.
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