Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications Introduces a New Smart911 Feature Allowing Residents to Opt-in to Sharing Camera Footage with the Chicago Police Department

May 17, 2021

The City of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management & Communications (OEMC) is introducing a new feature available as part of the Smart911 platform to assist the Chicago Police Department in better serving Chicago communities. Residents with a Smart911 safety profile who have a home surveillance camera that captures the public way can partner with the Chicago Police Department in the event that a crime occurs in their neighborhood. By simply opting in on an existing Smart911 profile or by creating a new profile, residents can volunteer to share home
surveillance camera footage by allowing the Chicago Police Department to contact them in the event of a crime.

“Smart911 is a valuable platform for anyone calling 9-1-1. We encourage all Chicago residents to sign-up,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “With this new opt-in feature, CPD can be made aware of any residents in a given area that are willing to share recorded home surveillance
camara footage should a crime occur nearby or outside their residence.”

"Video evidence is often a key component to solving crimes, recovering stolen property and holding offenders accountable," said Superintendent David O. Brown. "The Department is proud of its strong, ongoing relationship with OEMC. This latest initiative is another example of partnership that contributes to making the city a safer place for everyone to enjoy."

All Smart911 profiles are private and are not shared, opting into this feature does not authorize anyone to access your home camera(s) without your awareness. Additionally, current Smart911 users may opt out of this feature at any time. Residents can add this to their existing safety profile
by logging into your Smart911 profile. To join the Smart911 community, residents can create a free safety profile by visiting www.SMART911.com or download the mobile app.

About Smart911
When calling 9-1-1 in an emergency it’s critical to provide information that aids call-takers in getting the proper help that is needed. Smart911 is a free and private service that allows residents to create a safety profile for their household that includes any information they want 9-1-1 and first
responders to have in the event of an emergency. At a time when seconds count, Smart911 provides crucial details that could impact response the second an emergency call is placed, which could mean the difference between life and death.

Why is joining Smart911 the right thing to do?
Save Time - Smart911 is a free, voluntary and secure service that allows individuals and families to provide personal, medical, or situational information when they call 9-1-1 to help first responders rapidly assist in the case of an emergency. The Smart911 profile you create is displayed to the call taker when you call 9-1-1 from the registered phone number.

Help with Location - Because most 9-1-1 calls are made from cell phones today and by providing home address in the profile, the call taker can possibly better verify the location of the incident, which is critical when time is of the essence.
Prepare First Responder - In COVID-19 times, by including vaccination data and other household information, the first responders can know vital information prior to arrival.
Get Resources Needed - Medical details and conditions such as allergies, medicines, mental health situations and autism can be provided which can help to get the resources needed. Residents can also sign up for a safety profile in ANY language and indicate that they or someone in the household has difficulty communicating in English. 9-1-1 will know to connect them with an interpreter ASAP in an emergency.
Mental Health Conditions – If you are experiencing a behavioral health emergency, you may find it easier to communicate with safety professional by SMS test message. You can also include any mental health information you feel is important for 9-1-1 so first responders can communicate and assist you during difficult times.
Seniors – For active seniors, a safety profile can give peace of mind that in the event of an emergency, 9-1-1- would have details on their home and medical needs. For loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other critical health matters, information can be added along with
an emergency contact.
Physical Disabilities – For those who have physical disability or mobility restriction, it is vital for first responders to know about the disability and what type of assistance or special equipment they may need to evacuate their home or receive transport.
Save Your Pet - Do you share your home with pets or service animals? This information can assist firefighters in their search to bring everyone, including your pets, to safety.

For additional information, visit our website at Chicago.gov/OEMC. Follow the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook, Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911) using the hashtags #ChicagoOEMC #Smart911 #Chicago911 #ThankYou911.

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