Broadcasting Live from Santa Fe Community College
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

New Mexico GIS-Based Address Updates Needed For New 911 System

Kevin Meerschaert
Stephen A. Weinkauf, Bureau Chief, E-911 Bureau, Local Government Division (LGD), Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) speaks to members of the Rural Economic Opportunities Task Force at Roundhouse.

Next Generation 911 is coming to New Mexico but other modernizations are in need to make sure it can be most effective.

Next Gen 911 is a digital, internet-based system that will replace the existing analog E-911 infrastructure to deliver a faster, more resilient system that accommodates modern forms of communications and improves location and call routing accuracy.  

But to make certain that works, the Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, have to be accurate and up to date.

Department of Finance and Administration,  E-911 Bureau Chief Stephen Weinkauf says there are many errors in the systems that fail to meet the data quality standards for NG 911.

He told members of the Rural Economic Opportunities Task Force that the issue is dangerous and can be costly for residents.

“Recent fires drew attention to some of these issues. They drew attention to some addressing issues we weren’t catching within our current system. Many homes incurred preventable damage because fire mitigation efforts could not verify their addresses,” he said. “We had a conversation with the USAA insurance company who came to us asking if we have any additional address points or address data within the communities affected by the fires because over 10% of insurance claims could not be validated due to addressing errors.”           

According to the E-911 bureau about 36,000 rural and 12,000 urban addresses are in need of repair because the 911 GIS address does not match road names or other location problems.

The  NM 911 program is working with local governments to resolve the issues and needs state funds to do so.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.