Michigan lawmakers consider upgrading state’s 911 systems

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As technology evolves, legislation to update Michigan’s 911 systems and improve communication was introduced in both the Michigan Senate and House last week. The bills use framework recommended by the State 911 Committee to move forward with Next Generation 911, also known as NG911.

Fully deployed, NG911 allows for callers to send text messages, pictures and videos as well as enhanced location information and crash data from systems such as OnStar and Sirius. NG911 is also more capable in connecting calls between emergency responders and law enforcement members in different areas.

“In an emergency, people need to be able to reach responders with whatever technology they have,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police. “We support these ongoing efforts to modernize the 911 system and remain committed to keeping our citizens safe and connected.”

NG911 replaces the current analog 911 network with a digital 911 network, allowing the 911 infrastructure to keep pace with increasing demands on the public safety communications systems and more in line with the methods people are using today to communicate. NG911 has been successfully deployed in the entire Upper Peninsula, parts of northern lower Michigan, and in the thumb. There are also many more counties throughout Michigan who have begun contracting to have their infrastructure updated to meet NG911 standards.

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