The Halton Regional Police Service (has formed a partnership with What3Words—the APP that can reveal your location within three square meters. The HRPS is one of the first police services in the country to adopt that is potentially lifesaving technology. They believe the app will help reduce response times.
What3words allows its users an easy way to communicate an exact location. This is done by dividing the world into 3 metre squares and assigning each square a unique combination of three words. For example, the what3words address of the HRPS Headquarters’ front entrance is Erupt.Venomous.Linear.
Using the app, callers can communicate their precise location to call takers at the HRPS. If they do not have the app, the HRPS can send callers a text message that will identify their location and unique what3word address. HRPS communicators can then direct officers to the exact location of the caller.
“This technology could be especially helpful in situations where people have become lost hiking, or have driven off the road and are trapped in a vehicle and don’t know where they are” says Staff Sergeant Stephanie Jamieson, Communications Bureau. “We think this will also help immensely along the 325 square kilometres of Lake Ontario policed by the HRPS Marine Unit. Boaters can become stranded or lost and struggle to communicate their location to police.”
This program is far more precise than a traditional cell phone ‘ping’ often used by emergency services. The HRPS will begin using this technology effective immediately.
The app is available for free on iOS and Android or via the online map at what3words.com. It’s also available in more than 40 languages. The app also works offline, making it ideal for use in rural areas of Halton that may have poor or unreliable data signal.