Natrona County 911 callers can video chat with telecommunicators

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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Casper Police announced Tuesday the Casper-Natrona County Public Safety Communications Center (PSCC) now has the ability to video chat with people who call 911.

The Casper-Natrona County Public Safety Communications Center logo at the PSCC in Casper, Wyo. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

The city started a monthlong free trial of 911eye’s video chat software Monday. It ends May 13.

Using the service is optional for people who call 911. It’s available on cell phones, both Apple and Android devices. Telecommunicators, or dispatchers, will be able to see live video from the phone while determining how to deploy resources.

“It’s just a link that gets texted to you and then you are asked to accept a privacy waiver, which grants access to your camera and microphone and then it’s able to share that video with a telecommunicator on the other end of the screen,” Casper Police Department spokesperson Rebekah Ladd said.

She said Casper Police will securely save and store the video.

She said it also will make things easier for first responders as they battle COVID-19.

“Right now when we’re responding to COVID-19 we’re definitely trying to hang on to our resources to make them last as long as possible to keep our first responders healthy. So if we can see a situation and make a determination about how many officers need to go or if multiple services need to be deployed, that’s lifesaving in itself,” Ladd said.

She said city officials will determine whether to buy the software when the trial ends.

Ladd also said telecommunicators are also taking measures to keep themselves safe from COVID-19. This includes social distancing and disinfecting work stations. They also are the only people allowed in the PSCC and must take their temperature before coming to work.

April 12-18 is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.