911: Call if you can, text if you can't
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The Richmond Department of Emergency Communication (DEC) is a recognized leader in implementing technological advances to keep Richmond safe:
It developed an original computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system that was used by the city, and other localities, for 26 years.
It developed the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP), which has won 12 project awards and is in use by 20 alarm monitoring companies and more than 60 emergency communications centers, and is an American National Standard.
In 2017, it led the Richmond area in offering text-to-911 services.
In 2018, it became one of the first in the country to begin using FirstNet, a wireless broadband network built exclusively for public safety.
In 2021, it switched to an Internet Protocol-based 911 system.
It is working toward implementing a state-of-the-art 800MHz Radio Trunking System.
The Technology Division within DEC supports public safety infrastructures in the City of Richmond. This includes all emergency radio, computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and telephone communications for public safety agencies.
In addition to installing, maintaining and servicing the radio system, the Radio Shop is responsible for installing lights, sirens and the Mobile Data Computers (MDC) in police, fire and utility vehicles. These MDC units allow officers to fill out reports, run checks and more. The Radio Shop is working toward using the next generation, state-of-the-art 800MHz Radio Trunking System. This new system will offer radio GPS and other new capabilities within the next few years. The Technology Division also supports all DEC technology equipment. This includes critical systems such as CAD, fire station alerting, 911 phones, cameras, access control, mobile data modems and notification systems.
In addition, the Technology Division:
- Inspects and services radio system components
- Maintains and repairs mobile and portable radios
- Maintains the inventory, distribution, tracking, updating and billing for more 5,000 radio pieces plus fixed equipment
- Trains and assists users
- Supports all critical systems on-call, 24-hours, seven days a week.
- Supports CAD at Richmond Ambulance Authority and Virginia Commonwealth University
- Supports all Richmond Fire Department alerting needs
- Supports mobile data and modem systems