Dubai Police officer Major Bilal Juma said the command room is equipped with latest technologies to fight crime and tackle traffic issues.

An old man, suffering from Alzheimer’s, was travelling with his daughter in a taxi in the Raffa area of Dubai. When the daughter got down from the cab to get medicines from a pharmacy, the driver also stepped out to breathe some fresh air.

The old man left the taxi without anybody noticing him, but unfortunately, he couldn’t find his way back. After a search in vain, the daughter made a frantic call to the Dubai Police operations room. The cops arrived and helped the woman unite with her father.

In another instance, a man called the police emergency number as he suffered from a heart attack. He couldn’t speak. However, the police tracked his location and rushed an ambulance to his place and were able to rescue him.

A youth, living outside the country, called the police saying that he was depressed and planning to commit suicide due to problems with a “virtual” friend. Despite limitations, the cops carried out extensive investigation and figured out his name and residence. They reached out to him and prevented him from taking the extreme step.

A man did not know what to do when he dropped his expensive Rolex watch in the sea while having lunch at a restaurant on Palm Jumeirah. He made a call to the command room. The police swung into action and their divers retrieved the watch for him in no time.

These were only four of the thousands of instances when the Dubai Police’s control room sprung in to help those in need after they made emergency calls. The control room receives over 12,000 calls every day, which go up phenomenally during Ramadan. More than 100 officers work in three shifts to attend to these calls. The response time is 10 seconds.

Khaleej Times got an exclusive look inside the operations room during one of its busiest times of the year: Ramadan.

Dubai Police officer Major Bilal Juma said the command room is equipped with latest technologies to fight crime and tackle traffic issues. “We have used the best technology to make Dubai a safer and smarter city, including drones to monitor traffic on roads and to detect congestion during peak hours.”

The drones can relay traffic conditions directly to the control room in the event of any bottleneck or accident. There’s an employee who immediately alerts the public about traffic through the Dubai Police services, local radio and social media.

Oyoon (Eyes) project

Bilal said: “We are carrying out the Oyoon (Eyes) project that employs artificial intelligence (AI) and thousands of CCTV cameras in Dubai to provide live feed to Central Command Centre and helps in monitoring and zeroing in on wanted vehicles by identifying their plate numbers. The suspects are arrested and the cars are seized in cooperation with other authorities.

He said that the cameras connected to the command room cover the entire Dubai, including its main roads, commercial malls, tourist destinations, public transport, general traffic and metro stations.

“Through the cameras, we get live images of violations,” he pointed out and added these can monitor crime-prone areas, and prevent negative phenomena.

Dealing with emergencies

He said that the Dubai Police have recently introduced a new application – the Safe Sail app – which can track a cruise’s journey; warn users about any delays during the trip; identify hazards; send distress requests directly to the Dubai Police; and facilitate rapid emergency response.

Bilal said that the operations room uses drones and air patrols as well as helicopters to cover all the areas, conduct search and rescue people if they get lost in deep sea or high mountains.

He added: “We also have SPS Express smart device that allows people to get in touch with the police by just pressing a button. Once it passes all the tests, SPS Express will be installed across the emirate at all airports, parks, souqs, and key locations to help the public connect with Dubai Police officers in case of emergencies.”

90% reduction in heart attack deaths

The Dubai Police Command and Control Centre’s heart patients’ registration programme was launched in 2007, in cooperation with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services. Under the programme, all heart patients were urged to register with the police operations room so that their lives could be saved during emergencies.

The programme has yielded good results as the death rate of heart patients has been reduced by 90 per cent.

Bilal said if a person has a heart attack, he makes a call to 999, and even if he is unable to speak, the ambulance arrives at the patient’s address recorded in the directory of the operations room in minutes and as there is full history of the patient, the paramedic takes the necessary action, before he is shifted to the hospital. “The programme has saved 90 per cent patients.”

The Dubai Police are cooperating with the DHA and the Ministry of Community Development to update the information of patients, he underlined.

SOS for helping the elderly, special needs people

He said the Dubai Police launched an SOS in 2012 that has come to the rescue of a number of elderly and special needs people.

It allows them to contact the emergency services at the touch of a button, either via a smartphone application or a wristband. The SOS wristband enables people to send out a distress signal along with location details to the operations room. “We reach the distressed person immediately with a police patrol and ambulance and save him.”

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