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Culver City launches Smart911 system

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POSTED April 1, 2013 9:05 p.m.

CULVER CITY  (AP) — The city's new 911 system allows residents to set up profiles that provide specific information about medical conditions, location of bedrooms, language preferences and pets.

City officials say the Smart911 database, launched last month, will help 911 operators respond faster and more precisely. It can be connected to a cellphone number or a landline.

Culver City is the only California city to fully deploy the system.

"We're hoping that all other cities in California will use it," Mayor Andy Weissman said. "This is valuable on a whole number of levels."

Los Angeles is exploring similar information systems, said Anna Day Burton, assistant general manager of the city's Emergency Management Department. She estimated that a program could be implemented within a year at a cost of less than $1 million.

Culver City paid $25,000 for three years of the service, according to the Times. Officials hope that at least 20 percent of the city's 40,000 residents will create profiles. The database is being advertised on the Police Department's website, and officers will pass out information at neighborhood watch meetings and visit a senior center to encourage people to sign up.

"The big key is to get the community to embrace it," police Lt. Ron Iizuka told the newspaper.

Weissman, 62, said his free profile includes information on his deaf dog, Spanky, his five grandchildren who frequently visit the house, and on himself.

Developed by a company called Rave Mobile Safety, Smart911 debuted in 2011. The program has expanded to 29 states and more than 350 municipalities. Because its database is nationwide, users in the system can call from any area that uses it and their profile information will be displayed to dispatchers, the Times said.

 

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