Wednesday, February 29, 2012

City Upgrades 911 Phone System

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today announced the transition from an analog system to state-of-the-art digital technology for the Richmond Police Division of Emergency Communications 911 phone system.

After months of planning, implementation and training, the city’s new 911 phone system went live today in early morning hours. There was no interruption of 911 call service to city residents with the transition.

“This is a planned enhancement that was appropriated for in our current budget,” said Mayor Jones. “The new system puts the city in an improved posture to interface with emerging technologies as 911 standards evolve, to include texting and sending photos to emergency systems.”

Funding for the 911 phone system was appropriated in the FY2012 budget by Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Richmond City Council. The approved appropriation supports a five-year lease agreement to pay for the system via a leasing agent. In addition, the City of Richmond received a $150,000 grant from the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, responsible for the appropriation of wireless surcharge funds in support of the project. The total cost of the upgraded 911 system is $1.49 million.

“What residents will notice is an even quicker response to their calls,” said Jackie Crotts, the Department’s 911 system administrator. “Our 911 operation responded to 732,537 phone calls in 2011. Although 90% of those emergency calls were answered within two rings, the new system will help us even improve upon that performance.”