911eye is a new emergency video streaming service that allows anyone with a smartphone to provide police or emergency responders with real-time video of what the caller sees.

When someone calls 911 with information about a crime or an emergency, first-responders must generally rely solely on the information from dispatchers, who relay information from the call. But 911eye changes that.

Dennis Sims of the Critical Response Group in Ewing says a citizen calling 911 can volunteer a live video stream — "We can take words that have been conveyed over traditional phone call and supplement them and really support them with photographs and live streaming video so that the dispatchers and first-responders have better eyes on what's actually taking place," he said.

With the 911eye program, a dispatcher who takes a 911 call send a text or email to the caller's smartphone. By clicking on the URL link in the text or email, a secure one-time use live video stream is enabled, if it's compatible with the caller's handset.

The program was first developed in Britain. The Ewing-based company has been promoting and marketing it here in the states.

Several New Jersey police agencies have been testing 911eye, and the Manchester Township Police Department has actually deployed the program full time.

Sims said dispatchers can also determine whether the caller can safely transmit images.

"They're going to be able to quickly assess whether or not someone would be in harm's way, just by way of asking, "could you take a video?'" he said.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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