JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – In an emergency situation, every second and every detail counts. That’s why several 911 dispatch centers across the state of Michigan are using new technology. It allows them to see what you see all through your phone.
“It is really a game changer,” said Lenawee County Sheriff, Troy Bevier.
Lenawee county is among the first in the state to roll out the tech. It’s a process that starts when you call 911. At that point, dispatch can take live video straight from your smartphone.
“They are able to initiate a text session where they send a link to their caller and the caller clicks on the link and they are able to utilize the camera on their cell phone to take video of the scene and we receive that video here in dispatch,” said 911 Lenawee Dispatch Director, Lt. Corinne Perdue.
The method is completely optional and only to be used when it’s safe, but people who have worked in dispatch for more than 15 years like Chris Hudson say it’s giving them an extra set of eyes and a clearer picture of what is taking place in real-time.
“Rather than relying on somebody’s description of the scene we can actually see what is being seen by the caller and we can make our own determination from this video versus their words,” said shift leader, Chris Hudson.
Dispatchers can also pass the video along to firefighters and police, something the sheriff says will give his officers a better idea as to the situation they are getting into.
“When I was a first responder, I would have loved to have been able to be you know go ok what is exactly going on here and have that opportunity to have a video,” said Sheriff Bevier.
The tool is in its infant stages, but it’s already helped police identify suspicious vehicles.