BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) — Bedford Heights police dispatchers can now live stream with people calling 911.
Sergeant Robert Majer said the department was among the first in the country to use Prepared Live software, created by a Cleveland native. The software allows dispatchers to have their eyes on the scene with an immediate view of the caller’s situation as it unfolds.
“Provides 911 operators and first responders with access to live video, photos and GPS location,” said Sgt. Major. “In this business, the quicker you respond to a call, the more likely you are to apprehend a suspect, possibly save a life, so if we know someone’s exact location, that helps us get there. arrive faster.”
Emergency dispatchers text the person calling 911 a link. If the caller agrees to click the link, dispatchers can see the emergency for themselves through the caller’s camera phone.
“It makes things 100% easier because we can actually have a visual instead of guessing in our minds where you are and what it looks like at the scene,” said Lindsay Dunn, a dispatcher with the department.
The software was recently released to the department for free, according to the sergeant. First responders said it was already having an impact, from fire emergencies to car crashes and everything in between.
“For example, let’s say an active shooter. If we can see what we are getting into before we go in, that will help us a lot,” Sergeant Majer said. “We can come up with a better tactical approach.”
Police said the software can help with domestic violence calls, wellness checks and car accidents, among other pressing emergencies. In situations where the security of the caller needs to be protected, the software can darken the caller’s cell phone screen to make it look like the phone is turned off.
“It gives our dispatchers eyes on the scene,” the sergeant said. “It allows them to better communicate with callers. We also believe it will better prepare our officers for what they are getting into.
Prepared Live, police said, provides a unique view of the community while allowing first responders to better understand each call when there is no time to waste.
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