New 911 system in Marion Co., Arkansas, helps police pinpoint prank caller

Published: Mar. 14, 2018 at 9:23 PM CDT
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A new 911 system from Solacom Technologies in Marion County uses mapping to pinpoint a caller's location.

Jennifer Hunt, the county's 911 coordinator, said, "It hits three towers and then kind of points us down to where they're at."

That system was put to the test Tuesday when a boy called 911 saying a person with a shotgun was headed to Mountain Home to shoot up a school.

Flippin Assistant Chief Dustin Carter said, "Marion County 911 was able to provide officers with a map."

And that map showed the caller's almost exact location at Flippin High School.

When police arrived at the school, they said they shortly discovered the caller was only 10 years old.

"The child immediately told us that it was a prank call," Carter said. "Somebody dared him to make the call. And that nobody had a firearm on campus. There was nobody en route to Mountain Home public schools."

It took just 13 minutes from the 911 call to the time the kid was in custody.

With the old Marion County 911 system, officials were lucky if they got a location off a cell phone tower.

Marion County Sheriff Clinton Evans said, "Since I've been in office there has been a couple of instances where it has taken 45 minutes to an hour to get information, and at that time it could be old information."

This new technology will not only save officials time but could save lives.

"We knew its capabilities, but it's a lot different seeing it actually work. So we was pretty impressed with that," Evans said.

​The child who made the prank call was charged with communicating a false alarm.