Watch CBS News

New York City rolling out new 911 system that lets people send texts and videos

NYC upgrading 911 system
NYC upgrading 911 system 02:28

NEW YORK -- New York City's 911 Emergency Call System is expected to receive a major upgrade. 

The city recently announced its new system, called Next Generation 911 or "NG 911," will allow people to do things like send texts and videos. It's to help first responders understand the emergency before getting to the caller, according to the Office of Technology and Innovation, commonly referred to as "OTI."

CBS2's Elijah Westbrook spoke with Pashona Davy, who recounted the heartbreaking exchange she had last spring over the phone with her brother, 45-year-old Donovan Davy, who was gunned down in East Flatbush, Brooklyn on Memorial Day Weekend. 

"I heard three to four shots on the phone with him, and after that it was a pause," she told Westbrook. "I ran up close, only to see my brother on the floor trembling, shaking."

She is among the nearly nine million city residents who had to call 911 last year, according to OTI -- a call it's safe to say they wish they didn't have to make. But the city says the new technology could make people feel a little more at ease, knowing their contact can get them out of some of the most chaotic moments.  

OTI's Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser says the rollout of the new program is unlike anything the city has seen. His office is partnering with police and the fire department.

"We'll also be able to introduce capabilities to intake video, whether you want to share a video message or live stream something," he said. "Total budget for the program is $270 million."

The city says the project is also expected to be compatible with technology like the NYPD's gunshot detectors and surveillance cameras. Early phases could be completed in late 2024. 

Other features include:

  • Improved communication between all public safety agencies that share a 911 system 
  • Upgraded call routing between neighboring jurisdictions 
  • Greater accuracy identifying a caller's location
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.