‘911 Eye’ program helps police respond to emergencies more efficiently

Posted: Updated:

A Camden County town is hoping that new technology will help its police department to respond to emergencies more efficiently.

Police dispatchers and 911 operators will now have a first-hand account of what is happening in a situation thanks to a program called “911 Eye.” It is a program designed to give a caller a chance to share what they are seeing on the scene of an emergency directly with police.

"The dispatchers are all trained to know what to look for in a particular scene and what descriptions are going to be helpful to the officers,” says Gloucester Township Police Lt. Jason Gittens. “For them to be able to see that in real-time and get that information out, even if the person is trying to release some information, they’re really cutting through the weeds and trying to get the crucial information out to the officers.”

When a person calls 911, the dispatcher is able to send that person a link, which then allows the caller to send back live, streaming video of the scene so that the dispatcher can see it in real-time.

Gittens says that this allows the dispatcher to prepare the responding officers ahead of time of what they will be seen when they arrive. He says that it is especially helpful during a major emergency.

“Sometimes in sensory overload, there’s so much information that they’re trying to process while they’re on the phone with the dispatcher and then trying to start a dialogue with them to try and calm them down take several minutes, which is crucial for an officer,” Gittens says. “It really cuts down on a lot of the unnecessary talking, trying to establish rapport with the caller.”

The Gloucester Township Police Department says that the videos recorded during the phone calls are stored on their servers so that they can also be used to help later on in the investigation.

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