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Dallas is the latest city to implement a new text 911 service. Although calling 911 is preferred the new service will help people with hearing loss and those who may be in an emergency situation where calling 911 would put them in further danger. The city recently upgraded their 911 system to include texts as a way of communication and in the first two weeks of April Dallas police said they received 176 emergency texts.
To use the 911 text service just type 9-1-1 in the number field and describe your emergency then a 911 operator will respond with questions, if communication is dropped the operator will ping the location where the call came from and a unit will be dispersed to the location. There are a couple of drawbacks in the system, however, the 911 text service can’t respond to texts in Spanish or any other language and emojis can’t be used. Alejandra Zendejas, a local League of United Latin American Citizens director, said “While we know it is not available in Spanish, we hope that it is in the city’s plans to make it accessible to all Dallas residents of all languages.” Other North Texas cities with text 911 capabilities include Richardson, Seagoville, Balch Springs and Cockrell Hill however the system is rarely used and is there for backup.
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