City of Pittsburg and Crawford County partner to launch new text-to-9-1-1 system

City Press Releases

March 22, 2021

PITTSBURG, KS — The City of Pittsburg and Crawford County have partnered to purchase a new state-of-the-art emergency call handling and management system that will allow residents to text urgent alerts to 9-1-1.

For the last two years, the city and county have collaborated to replace antiquated telephone systems with a Next Gen 9-1-1 solution based on Internet Protocol, which are designed to keep up with the rapidly evolving communication habits of today, such as mobile calling, texting, sharing data, and more.

“The new system will allow dispatchers to text with people and help us better locate mobile phone calls,” says Deputy City Manager Jay Byers. “More importantly, it’s the platform for future technologies that will be coming down the road, like being able to send pictures and video from your mobile phone directly to 9-1-1 and other emerging public safety advances.”

The new 9-1-1 solution provides everything emergency dispatchers need to manage any emergency call from any device, at any time, from anywhere, and in any format. Call takers at the Pittsburg Police Department and Crawford County Sheriff’s Office will be able to answer text-to-911 calls like any other call, right from their desktops. They will also be able to pinpoint landline and mobile calls, offering a complete geo-location and mapping solution.

Equipment was purchased using state funds earmarked for public safety answering points across Kansas, and the county and the city worked together to create a regional system.

The new text-to-9-1-1 system will also allow the city and county to expand their partnership to include nearby jurisdictions — a regional approach where call management is coordinated, resources, records, and call information can be shared in real time, and agencies can provide backup for each other.

“This is another example of a partnership between the city and the county that focuses on public safety,” says Crawford County Sheriff Danny Smith. “We wanted a system with more redundancy in the event of a failure on either the city’s end or our own. Should one system go down, the city and county call takers could work at either dispatch center with little interruption of service. This technology enhances our efforts to ensure a safety net is in place should the unthinkable happen.”

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The mission of the City of Pittsburg is to provide exceptional services, facilities and activities with integrity, professionalism, excellent customer service and a commitment to economic vitality.

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