Made in the 956: RGV 911: Protecting the community

Made in the 956: RGV 911: Protecting the community
3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago Tuesday, February 06 2024 Feb 6, 2024 February 06, 2024 12:45 PM February 06, 2024 in News - Local

It's the familiar number to call when you need help.

"The RGV 911 district provides the most valuable asset to the residents of Hidalgo and Willacy county, which is 911 services," RGV 911 Executive Director Manuel Cruz said.

RGV 911 are the ones making sure you stay connected to emergency services when you need them the most. 

"It was created back in August of 2021. Our decision to create it was that we could have local control of and all the funds we receive, the 50 cents that are collected, stay here in the region," Cruz said. "Well the funds collected, obviously the 50 cents from not just the cell phones, but the landlines, get collected they go to the comptroller, and they cut us a check every month."

That money is used for things like paying staff, keeping technology up-to-date and for community outreach.

"911 has improved tremendously. We've gone from our old 1980s system to a new digital system, and so everybody needs to know that texting to 911 is available," Cruz said.

Pretty soon, Hidalgo and Willacy county residents will have yet another way to communicate with 911 by video.

"When somebody calls, the telecommunicator sends them a link and the telecommunicator can see virtually, they can see what's going on, what type of emergency is going on," Cruz said.

RGV 911 Assistant Director Dennis Moreno said they're still in the early phases. They're not just taking the public into consideration, they're also keeping their telecommunicators in mind.

"But also how it's going to effect the mental health of our TC's. If they do see something that maybe something that was unexpected," Moreno said.

RGV 911 also plans to implement multi-language texting.

"We're uniquely located across the border. Also, we have a university that has multi-language individual students that come from maybe even Japan, the Philippines," Moreno said. "So meaning if you speak Mandarin, and you're not familiar with English, you can speak in your native language, and we can receive that in our native language and respond accordingly."

Making the Valley safer one phone call and text at a time.

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