911: not a number anyone ever hopes to dial, but when or if you do, a free system in Kent County could make all the difference.

Kent County dispatch announced Tuesday, April 11, they will be implementing Smart911, a secure database that counties throughout Michigan are already using.

Smart911 allows for citizens to create a detailed profile on its website, which is then saved to a secure database that dispatch can view when a call is made from a registered device to help better serve the caller.

The profiles can be made for families or business facilities and include anything from health conditions to pet descriptions. It takes approximately 10 minutes to register, and then follow up emails are sent out every six months or so to maintain that information in your profile is still valid.

Nobody can access these profiles. The database is secure and not searchable, even by dispatch.

Matt Groesser of Kent County Emergency Communications Center said the accuracy of cell phone locations can be unreliable, but these profiles will allow for dispatch to have an exact home address if the caller calls from home.

Multiple phone numbers and phone types (landlines, cell phones, etc.) can be registered to a single profile. Profiles are also portable and can carry over county to county as long as dispatch utilizes the Smart911 system.

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