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Smart 911: Smart Investment for Arkansas?

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state of Arkansas spent $600,000 for an enhanced 911 system two years that less than 25,000 people have signed up for.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state of Arkansas spent $600,000 for an enhanced 911 system two years that less than 25,000 people have signed up for.

The Smart911 system creates a profile with detailed information when someone calls into a dispatch center.

Bud Gray with North Little Rock Emergency Services is a big supporter of the system since it rolled out in 2011.

"That's a peace of mind for our public to know that I can be anywhere in this state and call 911 and know my profile is going to be with me," he said.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management says 90 percent of the state is covered by Smart911.

ADEM director David Maxwell says the idea is for someone to have the same 911 experience whether in rural or urban areas of the state.

"I think the ultimate goal is regardless of where you are in Arkansas, you should have the same expectation if you call 911 you're going to get the same services," Maxwell says.

According to numbers provided to KNWA by ADEM, just over 24,000 people have signed up for Smart911.

Gray says he sees instances of the enhanced profiles showing up on dispatchers screens more often.

"We probably get one to two Smart 911 profile pops per week," Gray says. "That may not sound like many, but it is a lot when a life is on the line."

Maxwell says he would like to see 20 to 30 percent of the Arkansas population signed up over the next two years.

If you're interested in signing up for the free enhanced 911 system, click here.
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