Police are asking residents to download a new free app to help front-line officers locate you in an emergency situation.

The OPP’s communication centres have started using the app What3Words, where if a caller contacts an OPP centre and they don’t know where they are, the app will help call-takers pinpoint the caller’s location so officers can respond to the situation accurately.

Through the app’s global mapping system, every three squared metres has a unique three-word location tag. The OPP’s call taker is then able to enter those three words into the system, which converts the tag into GPS coordinates for officers.

Locally, the OPP say this will help officers in remote and forested areas where the signal is limited, a well as the vast waterways in northwestern Ontario.

"The What3Words app offers precise location information when a caller cannot describe, or does not know, where they are. This exciting technology may help save precious time in an emergency and enable a more rapid front-line response,” says OPP Chief Karen Meyer.

If you already have the app installed when calling 911 for example, the app will work without internet or data, and can still provide the OPP with their location even without a cellular signal.

If you don’t have the app installed, the OPP can send you a link that will show them their three-word location tag. However, this process does require cellular and data signals to receive the link and to download the tag.

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