St. Charles County and local municipalities have implemented a significant upgrade to our county's 911 system. The upgrade was necessary to keep up with new technologies for a variety of reasons, including the fact that over 70% of 911 calls are now received from wireless devices. As of Nov. 18, 2015, all seven of the county PSAPs (Public Service Answering Points) that handle 911 calls, including the cities of St. Charles, St. Peters, O’Fallon, Lake Saint Louis, Wentzville, as well as the St. Charles County Police Department and the Department of Dispatch & Alarm, now are operating on an Emergency CallWorks cloud-based system.
The new system improves safety and system stability in several ways. First, separately hosted equipment operated off-site and out of the county ensures there's a backup for the system in the event of an emergency. In addition, one of the many features the new system offers is the ability of the 911 operators to visually pinpoint where a caller is located on a map. This allows dispatchers to not only dispatch the appropriate first responders quicker, but also allows them to determine if calls are from one incident or multiple incidents across the county. Dispatchers are also able to login to the system from any PSAP location, which allows for staffing and operational flexibility.
Coming next in 2016 is "text-to-911" where citizens who might be unable to call 911 will have the option to text for help – stay tuned for further news. Funding for the new 911 system comes from each PSAP, along with St. Charles County and the 2% 911 landline tax.