Reporting Deputy: Sergeant Deirdre Vickers
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Her quick thinking and persistence helped save a kidnapping victim’s life. In recognition of her efforts, on October 17th, Communications II Officer Meghan Gonzalez was presented with the RapidDeploy “Superstar” award for utilizing the text-from-911 feature within Radius Mapping, which made all the difference in the victim’s survival. The Superstar Award recognizes individuals for their “excellence in action,” honoring those who made a life-saving impact, demonstrated exceptional use of RapidDeploy technology, and continue to enhance emergency response throughout their community. The award has only been given once in the company’s history.
In January 2021, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office began leveraging RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping, which includes the text from 911 feature within the system. Radius Mapping provides an interactive mapping display allowing dispatchers to identify a caller’s exact location and communicate via text message and live video.
RapidDeploy’s Radius Mapping platform proved to be invaluable on May 2, 2023, at 9:11 p.m. when Meghan received a 911 call with an open line. She could hear sounds in the background, such as the dinging from a car door and a voice in the distance, but could not understand what was being said. Meghan continued to listen to the call for nearly three minutes, hoping to identify an emergency. She advised the caller to push any number on the keypad if they needed help but couldn’t talk. There was no response.
Meghan then attempted to contact the caller by sending a RapidDeploy text message asking if there was an emergency, to which she got a “YES” response. Using the GPS coordinates she had obtained from the initial 911 call, she sent a priority call for deputy response and continued to get further information using real-time 2-way text messaging. Meghan texted the caller, asking if she could call or if that would put them in danger. The victim texted back that a call would place them in greater danger, then continued to advise via text that they had been beaten and kidnapped.
Using text-from-911 to communicate with Meghan, the victim provided a vehicle description, the suspect’s identity, and that they were in the vehicle’s trunk. Meghan was able to direct deputies to the location of the vehicle where they located the victim, and the suspect was taken into custody.
We want to congratulate Meghan on her outstanding work that ensured this frightening ordeal had a positive outcome and a life was saved.
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