Smart911 App: New feature allows Chicago residents to easily share video with police

City officials have introduced a new feature to their Smart911 platform which allows residents to better assist the Chicago Police Department in solving crimes.

Residents with a Smart911 profile who have a home surveillance camera can now opt in to share their footage with the police in the event a crime occurs in their neighborhood.

"Smart911 is a valuable platform for anyone calling 9-1-1. We encourage all Chicago residents to sign-up," Office of Emergency Management & Communications Executive Director Rich Guidice said in a statement. "With this new opt-in feature, CPD can be made aware of any residents in a given area that are willing to share recorded home surveillance camera footage should a crime occur nearby or outside their residence."

All Smart911 profiles are private and not shared, city officials said. In addition, residents who opt in to share their surveillance video would not be authorizing just anyone to access their home cameras.

"Video evidence is often a key component to solving crimes, recovering stolen property and holding offenders accountable," Police Superintendent David Brown said in a statement. "The Department is proud of its strong, ongoing relationship with OEMC. This latest initiative is another example of partnership that contributes to making the city a safer place for everyone to enjoy."

To join the Smart911 community, residents can create a free safety profile by visiting or download the mobile app.

Why is joining Smart911 the right thing to do?

  • Save Time - Smart911 is a free, voluntary and secure service that allows individuals and families to provide personal, medical, or situational information when they call 9-1-1 to help first responders rapidly assist in the case of an emergency. The Smart911 profile you create is displayed to the call taker when you call 9-1-1 from the registered phone number.
  • Help with Location - Because most 9-1-1 calls are made from cell phones today and by providing home address in the profile, the call taker can possibly better verify the location of the incident, which is critical when time is of the essence.
  • Prepare First Responder - In COVID-19 times, by including vaccination data and other household information, the first responders can know vital information prior to arrival.
  • Get Resources Needed - Medical details and conditions such as allergies, medicines, mental health situations and autism can be provided which can help to get the resources needed. Residents can also sign up for a safety profile in ANY language and indicate that they or someone in the household has difficulty communicating in English. 9-1-1 will know to connect them with an interpreter ASAP in an emergency.
  • Mental Health Conditions – If you are experiencing a behavioral health emergency, you may find it easier to communicate with safety professional by SMS test message. You can also include any mental health information you feel is important for 9-1-1 so first responders can communicate and assist you during difficult times.
  • Seniors – For active seniors, a safety profile can give peace of mind that in the event of an emergency, 9-1-1- would have details on their home and medical needs. For loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other critical health matters, information can be added along with an emergency contact.
  • Physical Disabilities – For those who have physical disability or mobility restriction, it is vital for first responders to know about the disability and what type of assistance or special equipment they may need to evacuate their home or receive transport.
  • Save Your Pet - Do you share your home with pets or service animals? This information can assist firefighters in their search to bring everyone, including your pets, to safety.