Knox county upgrading 911 service to keep residents safer


GALESBURG, Ill. (KWQC) – Smart911 is a new emergency service that is now available to people in Knox County.

“I think it’s important because we’re enhancing that basic service that would be provided to us on that cell phone,” Vicki Miller, the Galesburg/Knox County 911 Coordinator, said.

Now when people in Knox county call 911, they can count on getting the help they need faster than ever.

“Smart911 gives you control of the information that you want 911 and first responders to see and to have available for them at the time that you need it,” Miller said.

She says when a person calls 911 from a cell phone without the service, they usually only see that person’s phone number.

By signing up for a free profile online, Smart911 provides first responders with the information they need as soon as you make that call for help.

“It’s not only for the people [who] are creating their profile, but that dual benefit is for the dispatcher who immediately has to gather information and create that picture for the first responder whether it’s police, fire or EMS,” Miller said.

People can include information like where you live, what medications you’re taking, and pictures of yourself or your home.

“The only way we see that information is if the citizen makes that call to us,” Miller said.

“We dispatch all police, fire and EMS from here in Galesburg through the Galesburg Police Department, but this is just another enhancement of that service that we provide the citizens of Galesburg,” Galesburg Police Chief David Christensen said.

Christensen says he’s excited for this upgrade to their emergency service.

“The more people [who] sign up the better,” he said.

Miller says it’s a free service that will save them crucial time in an emergency, and will also save more lives.

“That’s the whole purpose of Smart911 is to make the community safe, is to make the response that you need from us be as thorough and complete as possible,” Miller said.

Miller says if you’re in a situation where you can’t talk, you can also text dispatchers through the Smart911 service.

Dubuque county also uses this service. Miller says a Smart911 profile will work in any area that has the service.

To sign up, visit

Miller encourages anyone with questions about the service or in need of help signing up, to call Knox Public Safety at 309-343-9151.

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