Modern technology gives us many things.

You can call 911 from Skype in the U.S. now

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You can now call on emergency services from Skype.

All you need to do is dial 911. You can also enable 911 emergency location sharing in the app, which allows Skype to capture your location and share it with emergency operators when you make a 911 call. Skype says it will only share your location to route your call and provide info to an emergency operator.

In order to enable 911 emergency location sharing, go to your profile in Skype by selecting your profile picture. Go to your Settings menu, and then select Privacy. There, you can turn on 911 emergency location sharing. You can disable it at any time.

Not every 911 call involves the police, but it’s important to consider the implications of cops stepping into any crisis situation. The major law enforcement bodies in the United States all exist within a framework of systemic racism. Involving the police state frequently leads to violence which disproportionately affects communities of color. Research has shown that there are other solutions to problems beyond involving the police state.

A 2020 analysis of 911 calls across eight cities in the U.S. found that about a fourth of all calls were for low-priority and non-urgent issues like noise complaints. And some 911 dispatchers say they have to face calls daily that are, in reality, simply racial profiling.

Instead, consider why you’re calling the police and if any other alternatives are available that won’t put people in the kind of danger that disproportionately affects people of color. Also learn about local mental health and medical resources you can call instead; Don’t Call The Police has a list of resources that might work in your city. Don’t wait for an emergency, either. Educate yourself on these issues now so you’re prepared with an appropriate response when something unexpected does occur.

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