NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The pandemic has opened up a whole new world of what’s possible through video chat.
Now in Norfolk, it’s something you can use when you need to call police.
“Starting today the Norfolk Police Department is going live through NPD Live its a virtual response for citizens who want to report non-emergency crime,” said Norfolk Public Information Officer Noel Lipieko.
Here’s how it works: A citizen dealing with a non-emergency situation would call Norfolk Police.
From there, a dispatcher would vet the situation to make sure it’s not an urgent matter.
If it’s not, the dispatcher will then let the citizen know they have the option to video chat with an officer about what’s going on through the platform, WEB X.
If they decide that’s something they want to do, they will be sent a link to connect to the zoom-like call.
“As far as we know this is an original idea. We aren’t familiar with any other cities who are doing this, we’re excited about being one of the first in this area to have it,” said Lipieko.
Lipieko says the main goal of the program is to cut down on officer response time.
However, it’s also especially convenient now during the pandemic.
“This is going to protect our officers, eliminate some of the contact they’re going to have, and then also [protect] the citizens. But this will be going forward past COVID experiences. Even once that’s gone away, this is going to stay in place,” Lipieko explained.
Again, this is for non-emergency calls. Those who have an issue that needs a quick response or deals with any type of violence, call 911 and an officer will be dispatched.
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