MPR News - NW Minn. county first in state to use video chat for 911 calls

19. 08. 03

Later this month, emergency dispatchers in northwestern Minnesota will be able to get a closer glimpse of what’s happening on the other side of the cellphone during a 911 call.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of installing technology that will allow cellphone callers to stream live video and audio to dispatchers when they call 911 for help.

Here’s how it works: A caller on a cellphone dials 911 within the Pennington County service area. If the dispatcher who answers the call thinks it would be helpful to be able to see and hear what the caller is seeing and hearing, they can send a text message to the caller’s cellphone, asking to take over the camera. It’s up to the caller to accept or decline.

"They have to agree to open up their camera so it can be activated," explained Sheriff Ray Kuznia.

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New Direct Phone Numbers

The New Corrections (Jail) Phone Number is 218-416-7097. Please call this number for any inmate related questions. Inmate voice mail line is 218-416-1120.

Jail Administrator / Dave Casanova -  218-416-7095 * Jail Programmer / Travis Black - 218-416-7082