Hot on HuffPost Tech:

See More Stories
AOL Tech

Chicago 911 Now Accepting Photos and Video Messages

Car Accident MMSChicago has broken new ground by becoming the first city in the U.S. to accept photo and video messages at its 911 center. Cell-wielding citizens can now send images and video captured with their mobile devices to the dispatch, which feeds that information to the crime prevention center. If the images are deemed relevant and sufficiently useful, they are then forwarded to first responders and investigators at the scene. The pilot program began in September, and the city believes it's now ready for prime time.

So far, dispatchers have collected 40 images from citizens calling the emergency line, but wants to emphasize that operators are not there to provide technical support. In the event of an emergency, dispatchers don't have time to explain how to send in images to the caller. There is potential for those images to provide valuable evidence to investigators and offer a more objective analysis of a situation. Still, some believe the program won't gain much popularity, as other mobile phone systems (like Txt2Tip) never managed to take off.

Tags: 911, cellphones, chicago, emergency, mms, texting, top