Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. Great presentation at the IACP conference. Juneau should be proud.
Dear Juneau Resident,
You are very kind, thank you for attending. To bring everyone up to speed, yesterday JPD presented the 'Ask A Dispatcher' program at the International Association of Chiefs of Police technology conference in Atlanta. Some of the law enforcement people attending from all over the world wrote lots of notes during the presentation and are planning to bring the program to their departments.
The best part about being invited to present is getting to see the other presentations. We got to meet people already doing 911 texting. Their experience will really help us see if JPD can reasonably make the hardware changes to dispatch and accommodate the software needed to take 911 texts. JPD already gets lots of requests for people to text us and chiefs around the country see the handwriting on the wall on this one. This technology has been particularly important in other parts of the country in DV cases where someone needed to text the police without the abuser hearing.
Also, there was a presentation on Project Lifesaver International (www.projectlifesaver.org). This program puts wristband transmitters on vulnerable adults and kids at high risk to wander and get lost. Juneau has lost both local residents and cruise ship passengers who wandered off were deceased by the time anyone found them. The situation doesn't get a lot of attention right now but with Alzheimer's, Autism, and other cognitive disorder on the rise this is definitely an issue for the future. The start up costs to local law enforcement agencies are $4,700 for the two receivers, two wrist transmitters, training and supplies. Then each additional wrist transmitter is $300. You could potentially save lives, prevent suffering, and save lots of money on expensive search and rescue operations. Around the world 45 departments have transmitters on 40,000 people and average 30 minutes to find them once they wander! When we get back to Juneau the first step will be to determine if we have a population who could be made significantly safer with this service.
If you have an opinion on this project please write to JPD. We are going to need help to estimate the need for a program like this locally to see if it's worth the personnel hours and hard costs.