The Tempe Police Department is one of the few police departments in the state that has implemented the Smart 911 program. The program allows Tempe residents to share more information about themselves and their families with law enforcement in order to make the first response process more efficient in an emergency.
Patrick Cutts, the program coordinator for Tempe’s Smart 911, said Smart 911 is very beneficial to the police department.
“Smart 911, what it does, is when you call 911, the phone number we receive a call from is sent to a database that’s held by the company and they look through their database and it sends us back what we call, a profile,” Cutts said.
Within these profiles, citizens can share any type of information they’d like to disclose like how many pets they have, any history of mental illness in the family, and even pictures of themselves.
Over 70% of 911 calls come from mobile phones and only your phone number and a general sense of your location are provided to the 911 call taker.
“So that’s a lot of calls that we receive that have no information available to them,” Cutts said.
When 911 is dialed from a landline, the only information provided to the 911 call taker is your name, address, and phone number.
Tempe Police says residents are pleased with the program
“It gives them that additional sense of safety when the call 911,” Cutts said.
One to five Smart 911 profiles appear each week at the Tempe Police Department and there are well over 400 profiles created.
Tempe resident, Khalil Santiago, is glad Smart 911 is at his local police department.
“I think it will definitely, first of all expedite any process, because they go into the situation knowing first hand that they have a couple extra things that they have to do,” Santiago said. “So having a plan of action before anything actually occurs is pretty smart.”
For those concerned with the privacy of the information shared, Tempe Police said the information shared on Smart 911 is only available to view for 45 minutes after the initial 911 call.