New 911 system coming soon for KOTA Territory - KOTA Territory News

New 911 system coming soon for KOTA Territory

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911 dispatch centers across South Dakota are about to get a big makeover. It's called the "Next Generation 911" and it will allow people to text 911 and also send pictures and videos while they're talking to dispatchers.

The network connecting 911 centers to each other and to phone companies will be upgraded, as well. Also, all of the 911 centers in the state will use the same software. Ted Rufledt, Deputy Director of Pennington County 911 systems, says it was about time for an upgrade.    

"The infrastructure that all of this equipment resides on is based on kind of 70s and 80s technology so the advent of cell phones and the rapid advance in technology of the phones that people use to communicate has outpaced 911's capability," said Rufledt.

The state of South Dakota will give $21 million over a six year period to fund the project. The plan is almost finalized. In about a year it will first be rolled out in six cities, including Rapid City.

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