The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Letter to the Editor: Location accuracy on cell lines


Dear Editor,

As most of us realize, cell phone use has now replaced about one third of all land-lines that were in use in America just a few years ago. When 911 is called from a land-line, the exact location where that call is made from is known almost immediately. This is not the case with cell phone calls, especially when they are made inside a structure where their GPS location is masked. Critical information has to then be gathered by the 911 dispatcher, and in some critical circumstances, those seconds or minutes spent confirming where the caller actually is could be the difference between life, injury or death. Sadly, there are times when a victim may not be able to converse with a dispatcher, and we are unable to find them, in the most critical of times.

The FCC has started an initiative that would require cell service providers to adopt a two-year path to indoor location accuracy. Based on statistical averages gathered by the FCC on cell phone calls to 911 centers, they estimate that we could possibly save as many as 10,000 lives a year, nationwide, by making this initiative mandatory for cell service providers. The City of Sidney Police Department supports this initiative wholeheartedly, and welcomes input from our citizenry regarding this issue.

Thank you for your continued support and input.


BJ Wilkinson, Chief

Sidney PD


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