Boulder police deploy live-video calling technology

Boulder Police and Fire communication has announced dispatchers now have the ability to accept live streaming video from callers.

According to a news release, Prepared 911 allows dispatchers to text a link to the caller’s phone. The caller can then press approve to give the dispatcher permission to see and hear live streamed video from their phone.

“Though Dispatch will be able to switch between the front and back facing cameras as well as turn the screen dark so no one can see it’s recording, they will not have the ability to see or do anything else on a person’s phone. The caller can also end the livestreaming at any time,” the release read.

“Callers giving dispatchers the ability to actually see what they’re seeing in real time will help us better describe suspects, locations and what’s going on as police, fire and EMS are actively responding to the scene,” Police Communications Manager Brad Riggin stated in the release.

Boulder is one of the first in the state to have this new technology, according to the news release. It made its debut Thursday.

“This new service is in addition to the ability to text to 911 in an emergency. Both of these services will enhance first responders’ capabilities to respond quickly and appropriately to situations ranging from an active shooter to a wildfire to domestic violence,” the release read.

The technology, which comes free of cost for the community, also allows dispatchers to send a location request to a caller’s phone to help locate them.

“The City of Boulder has had the capability of texting “911” since 2017 and wanted to remind the community that if they’re in a situation where they feel unsafe and are unable to make a voice call, they can simply text 911 to reach a dispatcher,” according to the release.

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