Crime - Sacto 911

Elk Grove police offer Smart911 network to improve emergency response

The city of Elk Grove announced that it has become the first Northern California city to implement the national safety database Smart911 in an effort to improve emergency services for residents.

In use in more than half the states nationwide, Smart911 allows residents to create a “safety profile” of vital personal and household data, including household members and pets, photos, medications or medical conditions, according to a Police Department news release. The safety profile can be immediately viewed by 911 dispatchers when a resident places an emergency call, providing information that first responders need to save lives and that might not be readily available during a crisis.

“Having updated information about individuals and households at the time of an emergency gives first responders a huge jumpstart in providing assistance to residents,” Lynn Bowler, support services manager for the Elk Grove Police Department, said in a written statement.

Smart 911 allows residents to give specific directions to access homes, information about utility shut-off locations and other crucial concerns.

Smart911 also assists in finding callers, officials said. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 70 percent of calls to 911 are from mobile devices with limited location information. Smart911 allows residents to associate their family’s mobile phones with home and work addresses, as well as specific family members, which can assist with quickly dispatching the appropriate response team to the right location.

Smart911 is a free service available to all residents, and officials describe it as “100 percent private and secure.”

A safety profile can be created through the Smart911 wesbsite, Smart 911 is a national safety database, giving users the ability to have their information travel with them. Although they may create their profile in their hometown, if they dial 911 anywhere in the nation where Smart911 service is active, their profile will be available to those taking 911 calls.