Playing with fire

Many 9-1-1 databases lacking or non-existent
Scott Seitz2
Nov 5, 2013


A former city of Norwalk official voiced concern at last week's city council meeting about his recent experience with the 9-1-1 system.

Dale Sheppard, who served as safety-service director for six years under former mayor Sue Lesch, told council he recently tried to call 9-1-1 from his uptown Norwalk residence using his American Broadband telephone service.

Sheppard said a fight had broken out behind an uptown bar and police were likely needed, so he dialed 9-1-1.

Sheppard said he got ahold of a 9-1-1 operator all right -- but in Ottawa County.

After 15 minutes worth of transfers, Sheppard was finally able to tell local dispatchers of the fight's location, but by then, the fight had broken up.

A story about this subject was published in Monday's Norwalk Reflector.



Apparently Mr Sheppard didn't realize that it is his VOIP provider, (American Broadband telephone service.) responsibility to report the proper information to 911. That is the problem with broadband telephone service is that often they provide or forget to provide up to date info on their customers to the 911 system. There is no way for 911 to know the correct location of a VOIP caller without the company providing the info because is doesn't operate like landline of cellular phones.