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Minnesota county to be state’s 1st to use 911 video chat

Associated Press

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Authorities said video chats can help dispatchers make better decisions in responding to emergency calls such as car crashes and domestic incidents.

MOOREHEAD, Minn. (AP) — A county in northwest Minnesota is about to become the first in the state to let cellphone callers stream live video and audio to dispatchers when they call 911 for help.

Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia tells the Minnesota Public Radio News that the technology will be implemented later in August. Kuznia added it should help dispatchers make better decisions in responding to emergency calls such as car crashes and domestic incidents.

A caller will dial 911 on a cellphone within the Pennington County service area. The dispatcher can send a text message to the caller’s cellphone if they want to take over the caller’s camera. The caller has to option to accept or decline. The emergency dispatcher would then be able to see wherever the caller points the camera.