ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A better way to handle emergencies may be on its way to Maryland.
Lawmakers are looking at a statewide upgrade of the 911 system, which they say needs speed, reliability and security.
“Maryland’s 911 is behind 22 other states in updating our system to become Next Generation 911,” said State Sen. Cheryl Kagan who headed the commission to advance 911.
There are 23 recommendations including technology to locate people faster, accept texts and photos, enhance cyber-security and address staffing shortfalls.
State Sen. Cheryl Kagan chaired the commission.
“People talk about how they can push a button on their phone and the pizza person can find them, or Lyft and Uber can find them, and yet 911 can’t,” She said.
It won’t be cheap. The overhaul is in the $40 million range with an annual cost between $5 and $10 million.
Part of the cost would be paid by adding 25 cents to dollar-amount charged for 911 on our telephone bills, which supporters say is worth the service.