Within the next year or so, you won't just be able to call 911, you'll also be able to send texts and videos.
A new system called Next-Gen 911 is being mandated by the CRTC, and Owen Sound Police have gotten on board early and are budgeting $300,000 over five years for it.
The CRTC says "Telecommunications networks are evolving and can now offer much more than just voice services. We want to ensure that emergency services benefit from these technological advancements."
Back in the summer of 2017, the CRTC directed all phone companies to update their networks to make them capable of handling NG9-1-1 voice services by June 30th, 2020 and NG9-1-1 text messaging services by December 31st, 2020.
Owen Sound Police Chief Craig Ambrose says video could be useful in a medical emergency, if relayed to paramedics, Ambrose says it could, "Let them look and see what's going on. They could actually see what a wound looks like or if there was somebody there and they were doing CPR or had a heart monitor on, they could see what was going on as well."
Ambrose says video could also be useful in court, noting "A picture is worth a thousand words," he adds "In the future
The Owen Sound Police dispatch service most recently added Saugeen Shores Fire to its list of clients.
They dispatch for most Grey and Bruce fire services and about eight other police services.
City police dispatch received about 52,000 calls in 2018.