Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has joined the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral initiative that seeks to support the technological enhancement and reliability of emergency response systems.
“Mobile technology has rapidly advanced since 9-1-1 was first implemented, but too many emergency response systems are stuck in the past,” said Sen. Booker. “Technology again showed its potential to aid in emergencies just last week when authorities used mobile phone alerts to rapidly distribute information on the New York - New Jersey bombing suspect. I’m pleased to be a part of this important bipartisan initiative and look forward to working with colleagues to ensure 9-1-1 systems around the country are prepared to meet today’s toughest challenges.” said Senator Booker.
The state of New Jersey recently announced that all 21 counties are now enabled with capabilities that will allow individuals to send text messages to 9-1-1 operators. Text to 9-1-1 allows individuals to contact law enforcement in situations where it is unsafe to make a call. This capability vastly improves access for individuals with hearing or speech impairments. More information on New Jersey’s program can be found here and Senator Booker’s statement commending this program is available here.
Much of the nation lags behind New Jersey, which is only the fifth state in the nation to enable these important upgrades.
On Monday, the nation’s Wireless Emergency Alerts system placed an electronic alert notification in the hands of millions of Americans as authorities sought to locate the suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings. The effective resolution of the recent events in New York and New Jersey further highlights the value of improving the technological capabilities emergency response and notification systems.
Sen. Booker expects to work with the NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus to bring even greater capabilities to the nation’s emergency response systems, including next generation 9-1-1 enhancements that would allow citizens to send photos, audio files, and videos to police.