Residents of New York City who call emergency 911 call centers also would be able to send digital videos and photos, under a proposal announced Jan. 17 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The mayor, who touted the plan as a "revolutionary innovation in crime fighting," said that the same technology will be extended to the city's 311 service line, which allows residents to report quality-of-life problems.

"If you see a crime in progress or a dangerous building condition, you'll be able to transmit images to 911, or online to nyc.gov," said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg spokesman John Feinblatt noted that although the plan represents a new concept for law enforcement, the technology for the plan already exists, meaning it will not be expensive to implement. "It's just time to bring 911 and 311 into cyberspace," Feinblatt said.

Law enforcement and anti-terrorism experts applauded the mayor's plan, explaining that it will increase the flow of information and possibly lead to crimes being resolved faster.

"Imagine someone caught in a hostage situation transmitting pictures or video," said anti-terrorism consultant Jerome Hauer.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from The New New York Times (01/18/07); P. B6; Rivera, Ray.