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Azle Improves 911 Response With Free Mobile App

by MaryAnn Martinez | CBS11

AZLE (CBS11) – The Azle Police Department has a new tool to help officers locate residents calling 911 for help from their cell phones.  They are turning to a free app called Siren GPS, that will give dispatchers your exact location.

The Azle Police Department says 80 percent of its incoming 911 calls are from cell phones. Lt. Bill Russell says many people are surprised to know that if you call 911 from a cell phone, emergency dispatchers can’t always find you.

“With a landline they can dial 911, lay the phone down and we’ll know what residence that occurred in,” said Russell. “However, if it’s a cell phone there’s just simply no way of knowing where this person is.”

Without a location, emergency responders rely on cell phone towers to try to find you. That problem isn’t exclusive to Azle.  Even in Fort Worth, the police department tells CBS11 without an exact location from you, police can track you as close as three feet or as far as a mile, depending on your cell carrier.

The Siren GPS app will alert 911 to your exact location and give them any other information you think is crucial in an emergency.

“If they can touch the app and then touch 911 we’ll know that something is going on at that particular location and be able to send help their way  without any words communicated over the phone,” he said.

The app would be registered through your local police department, so if you go outside your area, you’ll just have to use regular 911.  The Fort Worth Police Department says it’s looking at using the app, and figuring out how to pay for it.

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