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5/30/2018 Rep. Lancia and Rep. Nardolillo Shocked About 911 Failure
STATE HOUSE — Rep. Robert B. Lancia (R-Dist. 16, Cranston) was horrified to learn that the Rhode Island E-911 system was offline for an extended period of time.

On May 30, 2018, the Rhode Island State Police released a statement alerting the public that the state’s E-911 system was experiencing “technical problems” and for residents to contact their local police and fire departments in the event of an emergency. The system was malfunctioning for 45 minutes during which time 36 callers were unable to hear the telecommunicators on the other end of the line. The issue was resolved and state officials are working to identify the cause of the problem but this incident has left many residents shaken.

Rhode Island’s E-911 system has come under scrutiny from lawmakers and federal officials after it was revealed that the majority of the money collected for 911 operations has been diverted into the state’s General Fund. This is the second time the system has malfunctioned in the past two years prompting many to call on the state to do more to protect E-911 funding and resources.

Rep. Lancia has been an advocate for upgrading the E-911 system and was outraged to learn of the situation stating, “This is completely unacceptable. Our citizens depend on the 911 system to be there for them in the event of an emergency and today it let them down. We must accept that Rhode Island has a serious problem that must be addressed and that starts with ending the diversion of funds intended for 911. The additional money could be used to upgrade software or install backup systems to ensure that our telecommunicators are never left in this situation again.”

Rep. Robert Nardolillo III (R-Dist. 28 Coventry) has also pushed for better use of E-911 funding and added, “This situation proves that we must invest more in our state’s 911 system at all levels. I am proud of our telecommunicators and first responders for their hard work during this difficult time but this issue should have never happened in the first place. Public safety should be our top priority and we must do everything we can to ensure this is the last time our state is left without a fully operational E-911 system.”

For more information, contact:
Ian O'Connor, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903