DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Dispatchers in Volusia County can now see an emergency in real time using a video 911 system the sheriff’s office unveiled this week.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood said they’re just starting to use it and an incident on Thursday is a great example of when Volusia residents would need it.
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Witnesses driving on I-4 Thursday afternoon called 911 and took video of a minivan that was swerving into the shoulder, the other lane, and even the median.
“The motorists actually slowed down to prevent any cars from going near him as they were calling 911 and filming it,” said Chitwood.
The sheriff said deputies arrested the driver on DUI charges, and witnesses sent their videos that they recorded to investigators afterward.
“I want to use this as an opportunity to hammer home on a new technology that we just started using a week ago called Carbyne,” he said.
Assistant communications director Glenn Lopez said it starts with a typical 911 phone call and if it’s an active situation, the dispatcher can engage a video call.
“I get a text message that has a link and I click the link which is giving permission for the video to be sent to the comm center,” said Lopez.
It’s as easy as pulling up the camera on your phone once they send you that link, the dispatcher is then able to see exactly what you’re seeing.
“We can then take whatever video we are seeing and we put that into our cad call and then the officer in the field can see the video as well,” said Lopez.
The hope is it will give first responders a look at what they’re heading into and dispatchers a better read on a situation. Lopez said the goal is to use it in in-progress situations, like a reckless driver or a fire.
“It could even be an active shooter situation. If somebody’s in a safe place and they don’t want to talk they could actually shoot video for us,” he said.