Camden County freeholders voted Thursday night to authorize an upgrade to the county's 911 system—an upgrade that will make the county the first in New Jersey to offer 911 text messaging.
The new 911 system, which will include all new hardware and servers, is expected to go online in July.
“It is important for the county to utilize current technology to ensure the safety of our residents,” Freeholder Scot McCray said in a pre-vote statement issued by the county Thursday afternoon. “It is still most beneficial to call 911 so that our trained call-takers can obtain important information quickly, but in certain circumstances this is a valuable alternative to using the phone.”
In addition to accepting text messages, the new 911 system will also be capable of giving call-takers exact addresses where 911 calls originate. This feature can pinpoint the location of landlines and smartphones, and will give some location information for all devices.
“The new 911 system’s mapping system will get emergency help to individuals regardless of if they are aware of their current location or not,” McCray said.
The system eventually will accept photos by text message of emergency situations or crimes in progress, the county said.