Video: Closer look at first police video chat system

Redwood City Police officers on desk duty stand by and wait for callers

By PoliceOne Staff

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — A CNET video offers a closer look at the nation's first live video chat system to be offered by a police department.

In August, Redwood City police introduced a feature on its website that allows citizens to call in and  immediately reach someone from the department who can address their questions on live video chat.

The hub of the program is the social media room at the agency, where officers on desk duty stand by and wait for callers, who are typically citizens with questions or who want to talk to a police officer.

Calls are fielded from all over the country, and one officer told CNET he recently spoke to an identity theft victim in New York who — as he could see on live video — was wearing pajamas.

The program is a three-month experiment that ends in October. Police Chief J.R. Gamez said he hasn't decided whether it will continue past then, but that he's hopeful.

Police are promoting the feature on Facebook and Twitter to get the word out and drive more potential callers to the website.

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