The K-State Police Department went live with a new Next Generation 911 system on Tuesday, Oct. 18, and became the 105th Public Safety Answering Point to do so, Jason Blackburn, KSU Police Department communication operations coordinator, said.
“It is advanced technology in the 911,” Michele Abbott, communications and training coordinator for the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council, said. “That’s where you get the Next Generation 911 labeling.”
The Next Generation 911, or NG911, technology provides campus police dispatchers with ANI/ALI information, Andrew Moeller, captain of support services at KSPD, said. ANI stands for automatic number information and shows the dispatcher text of a detailed caller ID for the person making a 911 call.
“We know the location and any registered names associated with that phone number,” Moeller said.
ALI stands for automatic location information. This information interfaces with software called RapidDeploy.
“It’s basically a computer mapping system. That there’s a few different options when it comes to Next Gen 911 and what mapping system you use,” Moeller said. “This is a pretty common one.”
ANI and ALI work together, allowing a dispatcher to see ANI information on one screen while ALI information pinpoints the caller’s location on Google Maps. Moeller said this system allows dispatchers to skip questions about a caller’s location.
“We don’t have to ask those questions because the information is already going to be there. So it speeds things up there,” Moeller said. “And then obviously, the mapping is a really awesome way to speed things up.”
Moeller said the system helps with people confused in emergency situations as well.
“They may not know their exact location, they may be giving some bad information not intentionally but unintentionally and so this helps clear that up as well,” Moeller said.
Moeller said there is also a text option with NG911 so people who are nonverbal can get the help they need. The system includes 70 different automatic language transitions.
“K-State students, as well as faculty, staff and visitors can access text-to-911 through their wireless text messaging service by typing 911 into the field for a phone number and no other additional numbers need to be used,” Blackburn said.
Next Generation 911 is a Kansas-wide system overseen by the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council, Moeller said.
The Kansas 911 Coordinating Council was created by Statute in 2011 and went into authority in January 2012, Abbott said. Next Generation 911 was implemented in August of 2015.
Abbott said the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council is still adding new technology like video capable 911 calls.
“The call taker can send, if they feel like it’s relevant to the call, you as a caller a request to share your video. And you can say yes, and then they ask you again,” said Abbott. “The two requests to share video will be implemented to protect the caller’s privacy.”
Abbott said data collected by the Next Generation 911 system can easily transfer between Next Generation 911 centers in Kansas because they share the same software and equipment.
“It used to be every 911 Center did their own thing. They went out and did their own 911 system,” Abbott said. “And there were a lot of vulnerabilities with the system because they didn’t communicate with each other. They didn’t share data together. You could call and transmit, you know, give them the information, but you didn’t get all the original call data that came with it.”
Moeller said the ability to transfer NG911 calls is helpful on the K-State campus.
“If you’re in an emergency situation and you dial 911, that 911 call is probably going to go to Riley County’s dispatch first,” Moeller said. ”Once they figure out where you are, and it’s on campus and within our jurisdiction, they’re gonna transfer that call to our dispatch, when they transfer that call all that ANI/ALI information…that’s gonna get transferred over as well.”
Blackburn said the campus police team enjoys this system.
“Next Gen 911 gives our Communicators an additional tool to assist KSUPD with its mission statement: ‘The mission of the Kansas State University Police Department is to preserve a safe campus environment where diverse social, cultural, and academic values are allowed to develop and prosper,’” Blackburn said.