Madison- Today, Governor Tony Evers signed Senate Bill 673, authored by Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) and Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green). The bill is now 2021 Wisconsin Act 261.
Act 261 creates a Geographical Information System (GIS) grant program to assist counties with the cost of data preparation, data gathering, data creation, geographic information system staffing, data preparation and collection contracts, and training. Local governments will need to prepare and enhance their GIS data in order to meet the technical requirements to enable Next Generation 911 (NG-911).
NG-911 is a digital or Internet Protocol (IP)-based 911 system, which is a major upgrade from the original analog technology that most 911 systems were built on, and in many cases still use today. Once upgraded, NG-911 will allow Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to easily transfer calls to other call centers, re-route calls in case a PSAP experiences call overload, increase data sharing by receiving photos and videos and assist with more accurate location detection.
NG-911 implementation is dependent upon the development and maintenance of GIS data, including street centerlines, address points, and emergency response boundaries. Standardized geospatial data is a pivotal piece of NG-911, helping to accurately locate 911 calls and efficiently route responders via dispatch.
“In Wisconsin, work is well underway to upgrade the current 911 System to NG-911. During the 2021-2023 budget process, we continued to invest in NG-911 infrastructure at the state level, and this bill being signed will continue to help local units of government move forward with upgrading their 911 infrastructure to ensure a reliable 911 system statewide,” said Loudenbeck, “I’d like to say a special thank you to Sandy Disrud, the Rock County Register of Deeds who came to Madison to testify on the bill and sharing her GIS expertise in her role as a member of the Wisconsin Land Information Association. I’d also like to thank Kathy Sukus, Rock County 911 Communication Center Director for sharing her expertise with 911 technology, having me tour Rock County’s 911 Center and her written testimony supporting the bill.”