Dallas Launches Text To 911 System

Steven Pickering
March 25, 2019 - 6:15 pm
911 Emergency

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - People in Dallas will now be able to send a text message to 911 requesting emergency help. City officials had originally announced the new system in 2017. It began operation in December of 2018 and officials say they received just over 1,200 text messages between December and January.

"If the caller is deaf, hard of hearing, they're speech-impaired from possibly a stroke...or when a caller just by speaking on a phone would put them in danger. So for example if they're a hostage or they're being kidnapped, they now have an alternate route to reach us," said Dallas Police Major Israel Herrera. "We have cell phones in our call center. When we receive a text and it goes abandoned, we try to call them back. If they don't pick up their phone, we have cell phones in our call center that we can text them back to re-engage with them."

Dallas Police say calling 911 is still preferable if possible. Some texts to 911 may take longer to receive.

Many other surrounding cities already offered the ability to request emergency help using a text message.

"I'm glad we're moving forward in this capacity," said Dallas City Council Member Jennifer Staubach Gates. "I know in the world of domestic violence this is really, really necessary."