HONOLULU (KHON2) — From fires, crime and medical emergencies, dispatchers are the first line of communication between the public and first responders. Now, agencies like the Maui Police Department are looking at new video technology.
“We have the phone number and will drop in and we can reach out to them via that same format and get the video there with permission from them to see through their camera on their phone,” said Davlynn Racadio, Maui Police Department Emergency Services Dispatch Coordinator.
MPD will launch a new system called Rapid Deploy in about two weeks.
“We’ll send them a link asking them if we can join through their phone so that they can show us where they’re at,” Racadio said.
Callers sharing pictures and videos with dispatchers is the latest advancement in improving public safety. The Hawaii Enhanced 911 Board learned about a program called Prepared Live. Callers can allow dispatchers real-time access to see video, photos and locations through a link sent to a person’s phone.
“If someone calls in for a missing person or a welfare check and they’re trying to describe the person, the dispatcher can simply say ‘I’m going to send you a link and just upload the most recent photo from your cellphone,” said Kim Caplan of Prepared Live.
Dispatchers will be able to take snapshots from shared videos and record if needed. Visuals can be archived for evidence through Prepared Live and it’s up to the department to determine how that’ll work.
Hawaii police said they’re doing research before making a decision about implementing it. Prepared Live said about 260 counties are already utilizing the system on the mainland.
Meanwhile, Maui police will test out the Rapid Deploy program first at its Wailuku Dispatch Center. It may expand to its Kihei and Molokai Dispatch Centers in the future.
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“If we can save one life, it’ll be all worth it,” said Racadio.