WHEREAS, numerous cities across the country has implemented 3-1- 1 systems and a steadily increasingly number of cities are taking note of these deployments and considering similar investments; and

WHEREAS, 3-1-1- systems are primarily intended to field calls from citizens for non-emergency issues but play a critical emergency and homeland security support role as well; and

WHEREAS, 3-1-1 systems can substantially reduce call congestion on 9-1-1 systems by handling the nearly 50 percent of all calls to 9-1-1 systems that concern non-emergency issues and thereby enable faster emergency response; and

WHEREAS, 3-1-1 call centers can be used as backup 9-1-1 call centers in the event of a catastrophic attack on a city’s primary 9-1-1 call center; and

WHEREAS, The U. S. Conference of Mayors recognized in December 2001 in “A National Action Plan for Safety and Security in America’s Cities” that in the event of a terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction a city’s 9-1-1 system could be quickly overwhelmed and, therefore, 3-1-1 systems should be put in place to handle the large volumes of incoming calls from citizens; and

WHEREAS, a 2002 white paper issued by the DOJ/COPS office stated that “The recent terrorist attacks…reaffirmed the importance of communications interoperability – the compatibility of differing systems and the ability for effective information flow to occur – among law enforcement agencies and the constituencies they serve;” and

WHEREAS, the ability of cities to respond to large-scale emergencies requires real-time information gathering from the community and whereas 3-1-1 systems provide the most efficient vehicle for citizens to provide such critical information to local authorities and for local authorities to process such information; and

WHEREAS, 3-1-1 systems provide citizens with a trusted source of information and answers to questions during a crisis situation and can be used by community organizations that have registered to receive such alerts; and

WHEREAS, the incident reporting and tracking function of 3-1-1 systems provides a tool for analyzing patterns of seemingly disconnected incidents (e.g., indicative of a bioterrorismrelated attack) and for proactively monitoring the status of critical infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, 3-1-1 systems can facilitate post-incident recovery efforts by tracking damage assessment and providing a detailed accounting of clean-up efforts that is required for federal or state assistance; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security’s Authorized equipment List currently includes under the Terrorism Incident Prevention Equipment category items such as data collection and information gathering software, alert/notification systems and hardware/software that allow for information exchange and dissemination; and under the Interoperable Communications Equipment category includes public notification and warning systems and computer-aided dispatch systems; and under the Information Technology category includes tracking and accountability systems; and

WHEREAS, cities must obtain access to such homeland security funding through the state and a number of states have been known to question whether certain types of equipment are considered an allowable cost unless explicitly listed in the Authorized Equipment List,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Department of Homeland Security to clarify that 3-1-1 systems are an allowable cost under its homeland security grant programs and to make explicit reference to 3-1-1 systems in the Authorized Equipment List.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352