Leander PD launches Smart911 registration system

If you call 9-1-1 on your cell phone officers may not be able to find you. First responders want people to register a safety profile so that when time is of the essence--they can get to you as fast as possible.

Every time the phone rings, Leander Police Department dispatchers work furiously to locate the caller.

"Where are you at right now,” asks LPD Telecommunications Officer Heather Young. “Which cross street on Baghdad? Have you hit Crystal Falls?"

Cell phones don't show an exact address. Combine that with a person who cannot talk because of a medical issue.

Lt. Jackson Mitchell says every minute that ticks by has officers wondering, "Are we going to get there in time?”

Leander police have just launched a system that eliminates the guess work.

It's called Smart911.

Leander residents can create a profile that will immediately show dispatchers names and photos of everyone in a home attached to the cell phone number. Users can list important medical information, vehicle type and even personal issues, say there is a history of domestic violence.

Certain details can help officers adjust to situations prior to arrival. Take a child with autism, for instance.

"The officers will deal with them in a different way instead of thinking they're non-responsive… or get the correct staff maybe, somebody in non-uniform to come talk to them,” said Mitchell.

Lt. Jackson Mitchell encourages all citizens to create a Smart911 profile. Cedar Park started the program January of last year. Round Rock will soon have it as well.

Every participating city will have access to your information. So, if you have an emergency in an unfamiliar place, dispatchers may have a better chance of getting to you faster.

"If we can get there quicker, the better response we can provide,” said Mitchell.

Learn more about Smart911 here: smart911.com

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