While much of the Owensboro-Daviess County 911 center’s proposed budget for next fiscal year is routine, 911 center director Paul Nave is asking officials to provide funding for an upgrade that would allow people to send photos and videos to dispatchers.
Nave said the proposed 2020-21 dispatch center budget contains a $10,000 request to become part of the “911eye” system, which can be used for people calling 911 to send photos and live-stream videos to the dispatch center.
“They can send photos and we can (send) it out to the patrolman,” Nave said Tuesday.
Currently, the dispatch center cannot receive photos from 911 callers. The system would also improve the dispatch center’s ability to find a 911 caller, using the phone’s technology.
The dispatch center has implemented several upgrades in recent years, including the ability to receive 911 texts, and an automatic dispatch system where a computer dispatches a fire or medical call while the telecommunicator is still getting information from the caller.
“We are just trying to be proactive,” Nave said.
The “911eye” system would become usable by a person calling 911 if they open a link sent to them by the dispatch center, Nave said. The link would be “one time use,” according to the 911eye website.
The dispatch center would not be able to access the link after the call was disconnected, Nave said.
“They have to accept the link” for dispatchers to receive data from the caller’s phone, Nave said.
But once the link is open, people can send images to dispatch.
“If they open up their camera, it will be a live stream to us,” Nave said.
The system would also use the caller’s phone to get a more precise location of the phone’s location, Nave said.
“It will use the internet technology of the phone to find them,” Nave said.
The system could be used to locate people who are lost or trapped inside vehicles, for example, Nave said.
The system would allow dispatch “to locate you, like Uber does, or Lyft,” Nave said.
The system would not keep data unless dispatchers specifically saved the video or images as evidence, Nave said.
If the city-county 911 board approves the 911 budget, the budget will go to the Owensboro City Commissioner and Daviess Fiscal Court for approval.
Nave said either government can delete items from the budget.
The city and county finance the 911 center, with the city providing about 71% of the funding and the county providing 29%, Nave said.
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JamesMayse