Cape Girardeau PD launches new program to help response to 911 calls

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 11:18 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau Police Department launched a new program to help their response to 911 calls.

It’s called Prepared Live and allows 911 operators to see pictures and videos from incidents in real time, as well as gather real-time GPS locations.

In 2022, nearly everyone carries a cell phone with them everywhere they go. Now, first responders want to use that to show them exactly what is being reported, in real time.

“What’s happening, who’s around them, if they’re injured, how bad is the injury, where’s the injury, it’s a lot more information for us to have,” Corporal Ryan Droege with Cape Girardeau Police Department said. These are the types of things they can learn when a caller accesses this new software.

“It allows our dispatchers to pretty much remote in to someone’s phone,” he continued.

According to the Droege, now when a citizen calls 911, dispatchers will enter your phone into the program. That will send a link to your cellular device that will allow them to see what’s happening live, using the phone’s camera. The caller has to hit accept so that they can use the software. If they want your exact GPS location, Prepared Live allows them to request that too.

“Every step of information is really segmented down and has to have consent from the user to get,” Droege said.

He said this shows the 911 operator exactly where the person is located and gives first responders better information while they are on their way to help.

Some Cape Girardeau residents think this is great technology.

“Sometimes 911′s are hysterical, or they’re emotional and sometimes you can’t really get out what your problem is,” Jo Ann Young said. “So I just think if they already knew, it might be a better thing.”

“If I was really hurt or one of my kids was really hurt, I wouldn’t care what you scroll past, or seen, or got access to,” Corey Cooper said.

“What matters most is that you’re getting the help that you need, you’re calling them so you need their help, so whatever to maximize that,” Anderson Gauvreau, a Southeast Missouri State University student, said.

Other residents of the area weren’t so sure about it.

“Will that then access our data, our own personal information,” Tinotenda Shavi asked.

“They always say, ‘well, after you’re done using this app we’re not using your location,’ but they kind of are,” Kirah Anthony said.

Corporal Droege said that the 911 caller has control over when and how their phone is used.

“It’s only a live connection as long as the user lets it be a live connection,” Droege said. “As soon as they end it, it’s done.”

Cape Girardeau is one of more than 30 cities around the country using this service.