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New Fla. pilot program allows troopers to investigate some crashes virtually

By Sarah Roebuck

ORLANDO, Fla. — A new pilot program will allow troopers to investigate some crashes virtually, Click Orlando reports.

The Florida Highway Patrol Desk Trooper program will run for two years. The program dedicates two desk troopers during peak rush hour Monday through Friday.

“It’s using technology to allow our trooper to work a crash via smartphone,” Lt. Col. Mark Brown told Click Orlando. “These are for your fender benders in stop-and-go traffic, when they just need a report for insurance and then we can get them on their way.”

The pilot program would allow access to a caller’s phone camera, with their consent, to view the scene live, as well as capture photos and videos for evidence collection.

To qualify for the program, a crash must involve no injuries, no roadblocks and not result from a hit-and-run. Additionally, there must be no commercial vehicles involved, no potential DUIs and no other criminal violations, according to the report.

If all the criteria are met, a dispatcher will connect the parties to a Desk Trooper, and all individuals involved must agree to participate in the program. A link would then be sent to the smartphone, allowing the people involved in the crash to connect with a trooper.

Brown said the program will increase response times and help with FHP’s call volume and low staffing.

The program is slated to hit the roads in the summer.

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