Highway Patrol can now track 911 calls and troopers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – The North Carolina State Highway Patrol now has the ability to track 911 calls with GPS after a statewide communications upgrade.

Officials with The North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office say with the upgrade to the agency’s statewide computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system, Highway Patrol can pinpoint where someone is making a call from and locate the nearest trooper.

It’s also streamlining communication between dispatchers and Highway Patrol troopers.

According to officials, telecommunicators will be able to find the nearest available trooper on a map, then using the same software, share details about the call for the trooper to view in real-time on their laptop in the field. If another trooper needs to provide backup, the NCPRO says they immediately have access to the same information and their colleague’s location.

Previously, most of this process was handled by phone or radio, costing valuable time and resources.

The NCPRO says the $11.1 million project funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and state legislation started during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s going to improve public safety and trooper safety, and make sure we’re providing the best services possible,” says Captain Kevin Owens, Unit Commander for the NCSHP Technical Services Unit.

Officials say the previous computer-aided dispatch system was in the process of being discontinued due to parts dating back to the 1970s.

The computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system is expected to be completed by early 2025.