Waterloo Regional Police Service Partners with ‘what3words’ App to Locate 9-1-1 Callers

media release

Waterloo Region, Ontario - The Waterloo Regional Police Service is pleased to join other emergency services from across the world locate 9-1-1 callers with location technology app, what3words.   

The new technology is now available to the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Communications Centre and will help first responders quickly locate individuals in an emergency faster and more precisely. 

What3words is a free app download on your mobile device that makes it easy to communicate exact locations. The app works offline, making it ideal for use in rural areas that may have a poor internet connection.

This innovative global address system has mapped out every three-meter square in the world and given it a unique combination of three words, a what3words address. 

When someone calls 9-1-1 for help, they simply open the app on their mobile phone and read this unique three-word combination to the police call taker, who is then able to locate them quickly and send help.

“Our Communications Centre receives approximately 900 to 1,000 emergency calls per day,” said Kathy Black, Staff Sergeant with the WRPS Communications Branch. “If we are able to locate someone in need faster and send help, we will have more time to help the next person who needs us.”

WRPS is encouraging members of the public to download the free app and be ready to provide their what3wrods address if they find themselves in an emergency situation.

For people who do not have the app installed and call 9-1-1 in distress, they will be sent a link from police, which they can open on their phone and read the three words on their screen to the 9-1-1 call taker.

What3words can be download on iOS and Android. There is also an online map

For more information on the what3words app, visit what3words's website.

Media Inquiries

Jen Condick
Media Relations Coordinator, Corporate Communications and Public Information
Executive Branch
Waterloo Regional Police Service
519-570-9777 (WRPS) ext. 8118

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