Support of Next Generation 911 (NG911) as Affirmed by the U.S. Congress S. 1015 – Supporting Accurate Views of Emergency Services Act of 2019 and H.R. 2760 – Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2019
WHEREAS, 911 serves a critical role as the “universal emergency number”1 and is recognized as critical infrastructure to our nation’s homeland security; and
WHEREAS, 911 has minimally evolved over the last 50 years and has failed to keep pace with modern,2 mainstream communication tools regularly used by the public; and
WHEREAS, wireless devices are owned by over 96% of all Americans;3 many existing 911 systems cannot leverage mainstream communication protocols, such as text, picture and video messaging, livestream video, connected apps, social media, sensors, or emerging internet of things (IoT) devices, which provide robust reporting options during an emergency; and
WHEREAS, the IACP support federal proposed legislation, such as H.R.1629 – 911 Saves Act; S. 1015 – Supporting Accurate Views of Emergency Services Act of 2019 and House Resolution 2760 – Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2019; and
WHEREAS, Next Generation 911 (NG911) technology allows for emergency communications centers to transition from the traditional voice environment leveraging broadband-enabled, IP-based environment, expanding and enhancing services to the public through receipt of pictures, video and other non-voice communications including telematics reporting through 911;4 and
WHEREAS, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and 911 outages have demonstrated that a concerned public will activate any and all alternative data-driven emergency reporting channels when traditional 911 voice calling methods are insufficient, creating overwhelmed 911 centers currently ill-equipped to receive non-voice communications; and
WHEREAS, geospatial routing available with NG911 transitions wireless 911 calls from cell sector routing to device location routing,5 a critical component in determining the most accurate location to send first responders during an emergency; and
WHEREAS, NG911 technology provides resiliency, redundancy, and more efficient capabilities that can provide first responders with more timely and actionable information during emergencies; and
WHEREAS, the IP-enabled network of NG911 increases resiliency, flexibility, and redundancy through interconnectivity and interoperability, ensuring the maximum reliability and availability of the U.S. emergency 911 system; and
WHEREAS, the NET911 Improvement Act of 2008 called for a nationwide migration to NG911,6 creating an opportunity for interoperability between emergency response agencies, and ensuring a consistent level of upgrades across the United States in rural, urban, large, and small agencies;7 and
WHEREAS, NG911 provides a complementary emergency communications framework with FirstNet, the wireless broadband network for first responders, and strengthens the multi-discipline operational and technical capabilities required to face tomorrow’s complexities. Now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) endorses the need to modernize all legacy 911 emergency communications critical infrastructure and migrate emergency communications systems to Next Generation 911 technology.
Submitted by: Communications & Technology Committee
1 NENA, “Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus,” https://www.nena.org/page/NextGen911Caucus.
2 APCO et al., “Letter to the Leadership of the Congress of the United States,” March 20, 2018,
3 Pew Research Center, “Mobile Fact Sheet,” June 12, 2019, https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile; Laura Silver, Smartphone Ownership Is Growing Rapidly Around the World, but Not Always Equally (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, 2019), https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2019/02/05/smartphone-ownership-is-growing-rapidly-around-the-world-but- not-always-equally.
4 911.gov, Next Generation 911 (NG911) Standards Identification and Analysis (2015), https://www.911.gov/pdf/National_911_Program_NG911_Standards_Identification_Analysis_2015.pdf.
5 Arizona Department of Administration, Arizona 9-1-1 Program Assessment Final Report, prepared by Mission Critical Partners (2019), https://az911.gov/sites/default/files/media/Arizona_911%20Assessment%20Report_FINAL_082319_0.pdf.
6 New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008, Pub. L. 119-283 (2008), https://www.congress.gov/110/plaws/publ283/PLAW-110publ283.pdf; NET 911 Improvement Act of 2008, H.R. 3403, 110th Cong. (2008), https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr3403/summary.
7 National E9-1-1 Implementation Coordination Office, A National Plan for Migrating to IP-Enabled 9-1-1 Systems (2009), https://www.911.gov/pdf/National_E911_Implementation_Coordination_Office_National_Plan_Migrating_IP_Enabled_911_Sy stems_2009.pdf.