From the Desk of the Police Chief
911 Cellular Phone Technology
For the past eight months the Hillside Police Department has been installing equipment in the Police Communications Center that will allow the center to receive 9-1-1 calls from cellular phones. Before the equipment was installed, any cellular 9-1-1 call that was made from within the Village of Hillside was received by the Illinois State Police. The State Police only have the capability of receiving the call with no further information such as phone number or location of the caller. The State Police's limited call receiving capability is known as Cellular 9-1-1 Phase 0.
The Hillside Police Department has recently installed cellular-wireless 9-1-1 in what is known as Phase II. Now when anyone in Hillside dials 9-1-1 on a cell phone, the call will be answered by the Hillside Police Communications Center. The Center will receive the number of the cell phone that the call is being made from and will be able to triangulate the location of the caller within 100 feet. This will allow the police to respond to the area of where the call is made should the call be disconnected before the location of the emergency can be given.
There is some basic information that is important for anyone calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone. You should always give information about the emergency and the location, if known, before disconnecting the call. This allows the Communications Center to send the appropriate emergency personnel and necessary equipment to respond to the location and handle the emergency situation without any delay. It is also important to give the location of the call if the call is being made from a moving vehicle. This also aids the Dispatch Center in sending emergency help as soon as possible and avoids sending help to a wrong location.
This advanced technology is certainly an important enhancement and can save valuable minutes in an emergency. However, even with this technology, there is always a one percent chance that a cellular 9-1-1 call can be sent to a different department without Phase II equipment and will not be able to triangulate the caller's location. So it is always best to stay connected with the dispatcher, if at all possible. However, should an emergency occur and for some reason you are disconnected, the Hillside Police now has the equipment that will help emergency personnel find your location.
It is always a priority of the Hillside Police Department to keep pace with the ever-changing technology that can improve our services not only for our residents but the citizens traveling through our village. This advanced 9-1-1 cellular service requires no additional cost to Hillside residents. All equipment was paid for by the current 9-1-1 surcharge. The cellular 9-1-1 surcharge that was formerly being paid to the Illinois State Police will now be received by the Hillside Police Department to further fund this new 9-1-1 service. Acquiring Phase II Cellular 9-1-1 equipment is a step in the right direction for a safer community.