The Department of Homeland Security's science and technology directorate partnered with Google and the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute to conduct an event to help optimize public safety communication technologies for people with limited English language capacities. The Text-to-911 Translation TechFest delivered insights in current translation platforms and promoted the need for research and development efforts to reinforce efficient 911 call response, DHS said Wednesday.
The agency noted that 30 percent of 6,000 public safety answering points in the U.S. implemented text-to-911 services since the event's conception in 2015. In addition, local, state and federal governments have required the creation of contact centers to accommodate people with limited English skills.
“We anticipate the end result of this joint project will be a national standard for implementing Text-to-911 to LEP populations as well as operational, business, and training protocols that will ensure consistent national implementation,” said Denis Gusty, a program manager at DHS S&T.
DHS S&T and IJIS are slated to test public safety protocols in Virginia to evaluate and confirm potential costs for national integration of text-to-911 technologies.