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Police partner with ‘what3words’ app to locate 9-1-1 callers

The Waterloo Regional Police Service this week announced it has joined other emergency services from across the world 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-metre 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 Staff Sgt, Kathy Black in a release. “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 what3words 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.

Click here for more information on the what3words app.

AUGUST 9

12:45 PM | Wellington County OPP were conducting a R.I.D.E. program at the intersection of  Speedvale Avenue West and Woolwich-Guelph Townline when officers investigated the driver of a pickup truck that entered into the checkpoint. Police spoke with the driver and detected an odour of alcohol on their breath. A roadside screening device test was conducted, which resulted in a fail. The driver was transported to a local OPP Operation Centre for further testing. As a result, a 50-year-old Guelph man was charged with ‘impaired operation – 80-plus (mg of alcohol per 100 mL of blood).’ His license was suspended for 90 days and his car impounded for a week. He is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of justice – Guelph on September 8 to answer to the charge.

AUGUST 11

8:45 PM | Wellington County OPP received a report of a break-in that occurred at a rural property on Wellington Road 109 in the Township of Mapleton. Sometime between August 9 at 10 p.m. and August 10 at 6p.m. unknown suspects gained entry into a detached garage and stole approximately $1,000 worth of property which included a bicycle, drills, trimmer, mini rototiller, circular saw and wallet. Any person with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip on-line. You may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.

AUGUST 12

4:53 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to the area of Nafziger Road in Wilmot Township for a collision involving a dump truck and sedan. One of the drivers was charged with ‘fail to yield to traffic.’

AUGUST 13

3:50 AM | A Wellington County OPP officer monitoring traffic and conducting radar on Highway 6 near Side Road 6 observed a silver northbound vehicle travelling at a speed that appeared to be well above the posted 80 km/h speed limit. The vehicle was locked on radar in excess of 155 km/h. The vehicle continued northbound with speeds fluctuating between 180-190 km/h as it approached Fergus. The driver shut the vehicle lights off and drove erratically thru a plaza parking lot at the south end of town. The vehicle stopped abruptly and the driver fled from the vehicle. A brief foot chase ensued prior to the driver being taken into custody. Police detected an odour of alcohol and the driver’s breath while speaking with them. A roadside screening test was conducted, resulting in a warn reading. A 21-year-old Fergus man was charged with ‘racing a motor vehicle,’ ‘BAC above zero,’ ‘dangerous driving’ and ‘flight from police.’ The defendant is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice – Guelph on October 13.

1:25 PM | Wellington County OPP received a theft report that occurred at a business located on Wellington Road 86 in Wallenstein. It was reported that sometime between July 31 and August 13, unknown suspects entered onto the property and stole a blue 2020 New Holland Boomer 40 tractor with a front loader attached valued at $36,000. Any person with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip on-line. You may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.

AUGUST 14

11:10 PM | A Waterloo Regional Police motorcycle was towed to police headquarters from Dolman Street in Breslau.

AUGUST 15

10:08 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a property damage report. The complainant advised that a window at his property located on Wagler Avenue in Baden was damaged. There were no witnesses.

AUGUST 16

1:28 PM | Police received a report of a gas drive off from a business on Waterloo Street in New Hamburg.  The complainant advised that a female pumped gas without making a payment. The suspect has been described as 40-50 years old, with a medium build, wearing a white top and dark pants. The investigation is ongoing.

AUGUST 17

3:12 PM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a theft. The complainant advised that he had a parcel stolen from his front porch on Livingston Boulevard in Baden. The suspect has been described as a white male with dark hair, driving a dark coloured sedan. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police at 519-570-9777.

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