ARVADA, Colo. — A new app launching Monday, e-BodyGuard, could help anyone in an emergency call 911 using just their voice.
Melissa Faith Hart lives in Colorado. She's the founder of e-BodyGuard, which can be voice-activated within 30 feet. According to Hart, the app provides a dispatcher a person's precise location and records audio as soon as the call is made.
"What if you could voice activate something and they are on the way and they are there for you?" Hart said.
The tool is meant to help people in various situations: someone in a medical emergency, a witness to trauma, or a victim of a crime.
A person can activate the 911 call by saying "e-Bodyguard," or create and use their own custom phrase.
The app automatically sends personal information to dispatchers, such as a vehicle description and protective orders. Dispatchers can access the "Safety Card" so they can be better informed to dispatch the appropriate sources. Hart said it also helps law enforcement be better prepared for the emergency.
According to Hart, the recording also starts the evidence-building process if there is a prosecution in the future. e-BodyGuard's goal is to reduce the burden of evidence production.
"In the first five minutes, no body camera is going to arrive on scene until that is deployed on the scene," Hart said. "We have the first five minutes for objective evidence for the court case."
John Jackson, the Chairman of the 911 Authority Board in Arapahoe County, believes this system can save lives and make the process better.
"We have always recorded 911 calls, but not in this manner that we can then use it and pull it forward for the ultimate prosecution if that is something that happens," he said.
The Arvada Police Department led the pilot, and various agencies in Jefferson County supported the program. Jackson believes this can help officers with their investigations.
"What we are traditionally left with is we are taking a recording of a call once it hits that 911 center," he said. "It’s a long call, generally they have to decipher it and pull it back."
According to e-Bodyguard, this technology pulls together evidence objectively and securely, allowing for a faster process.
"For me it always became making things easier for the criminal justice system," Hart said. "Ultimately, at the end of the day, we can help victims all day every day -- make it easier for victims."
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