County of Monterey
County of Monterey

MONTEREY COUNTY — The County of Monterey’s Emergency Communications Department (ECD) operates the countywide consolidated emergency communications system for emergency and non-emergency call answering, as well as dispatch services for a majority of Monterey County.

Recently, ECD has implemented new tools for reporting non-emergency information, which assists both residents and dispatchers.

AI-assisted non-emergency call-taking

Now, when calling a non-emergency number that is answered by ECD, callers will use an Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution aimed at streamlining response reporting for the community. The new feature was “soft launched” in February and interacts with callers to assist them in fulfilling requests for information in both English and Spanish.

The department has seen a 30% average monthly reduction in non-emergency calls, allowing ECD dispatchers to focus on 9-1-1 call processing and emergency radio traffic from law enforcement and fire personnel.

Non-emergency online reporting

The department has also launched “Spark,” an online option to report non-emergency incidents or information that can be accessed via a text message when calling a non-emergency number. The reporting link is also available on the department’s website under “online reporting.”

“This new tool is for non-emergency reporting only,” stated the County in a news release.

The new Spark tool allows community members to efficiently submit reports anywhere, anytime using any internet-enabled device. Whether reporting suspicious activities or requesting non-emergency police assistance, this new reporting platform offers a user-friendly interface that simplifies the reporting process.

The system is also inclusive to more than just English and Spanish. It uses Natural Language Processing (NLP), meaning whichever language the reporter’s internet browser uses, they can communicate with the online reporting tool. The ECD dispatcher can then review the report in English without interrupting any other emergency communications.

“Those interested in utilizing this service are encouraged to do so,” the County stated. “If a caller wants to speak with a dispatcher, they may also select that option when interacting with the AI system. As always, if there is a situation where emergency responders are needed to protect life and property, call 9-1-1 or text 9-1-1 if you are unable to call.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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