Suffolk Police connect to online safety profiles of 911 callers

Suffolk County residents can now create an online safety profile, with details ranging from their family’s medical information to a description of their vehicles and pets, which can be used if they call 911 in the event of a problem. ’emergency.

Smart911, a free app available which has been used by the county fire and emergency services since 2013, will now be used by the Suffolk Police Department to provide officers with critical information before arriving at the scene. an emergency.

“In an emergency, seconds count,” Suffolk County Director Steve Bellone said at a press conference at Yaphank Police Headquarters on Friday. “They can make the difference, in certain circumstances, between life and death. And that’s why the Smart911 profile… can be a game-changer for families.”

For example, Acting Suffolk Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron said the information, which can be provided online, could alert police if there is a nonverbal autistic person in the house; if there are firearms on site, provide the license plates of all vehicles owned by residents or the blood types of medically fragile persons.

The tool, he said, could be invaluable for those with elderly parents or those with mental health issues. Often, officials said, information can slip through the cracks when residents call 911, often in a state of heightened concern.

“It gives us a lot of information so that we can react a lot smarter,” Cameron said on Friday showing how to enter information into the system. “It also allows residents of our county to help [police] in a more efficient and better way. “

The provision of the information, Cameron said, is voluntary and will be secure, available only if a resident calls 911. Use of the app, he said, is free to the public and was purchased from the public. help from a federal grant for domestic violence.

Acting Commissioner of Fire and Emergency Services Pat Beckley said more than 50,000 residents have signed up for the service, which also includes text messages to residents about potentially dangerous emergencies, such as mandatory evacuations due to a hurricane.

The Nassau County Police Department has deployed a similar Smart911 system and 12,230 have registered, police spokesman Det said. Richard Lebrun. The county is also using the app to alert seniors to weather-related emergencies, major road closures, and scams targeting seniors.

Suffolk officials also announced on Friday that the Police Department will be implementing the use of the Rave Guardian app for victims of domestic violence.

The app, which includes GPS technology that can alert law enforcement in an emergency, will replace the home panic alarms the department has distributed to victims of domestic violence since the 1980s.

The old system, Cameron said, relied on a device similar to Rube Goldberg’s, operated by a police radio, triggered by a garage door opener and connected via a landline. And while effective, Cameron said the system had operational limitations, including the requirement for the transmitter to be close to the device and the need for detectives to install and remove the equipment.

“This will tell us if you need help and can provide a location if we need to respond,” Cameron said.

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