Calling 911: the next generation - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Calling 911: the next generation

Forget calling '911', what if you could send a text or a photo? That technology getting tested around the country.

But one local councilman asking, why not here?

The chaos in the theater shooting in Colorado could one day lead to change in local 911 centers.  Those shootings sparking talk about what's called Next Generation 911.

It's a system to allow you text if you need help, maybe take a photo to show police what is going on.

It's how people talk to each other anyway.

When asked about it, one person told us, "Ultimately give people a chance to stay safe they should pursue it. We need it."

Councilman Kevin Conwell says, "We need it, we need it for safety."

He says he's been watching this technology since the first talk about it years ago.  Now he plans to meet with Cuyahoga County leaders and hold a hearing to at least start looking at ways to get help without calling 911.

"All you have to do is take out your cell phone and take a photo shoot it and sent it over to the call center," Conwell describes.

The Feds are testing some of the technology.  But realistically, would the government have the money?

Ed Gallek asked the councilman, "All this sounds great but how you gonna pay for it?"

He replied, "Well, we can create a model maybe try it in certain parts of the county and see that it works and then we can phase it in."

If it ever does move forward, it's sure to be popular.

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