Indiana has emerged as a leader in the text-to-911 program, allowing people in all 92 counties to either call or text law enforcement for help. Since Indiana implemented the program two years ago, over 14,782 texts have been sent to 911 dispatches around the state.
While voice calls are still encouraged as the first option in the case of an emergency, different circumstances make texting a valuable means of communicating. Those who are deaf, hearing or speech-impaired, or can’t speak because of a medical condition can reach out to law enforcement through text. A home invasion where talking would put a person in danger and other precarious situations are also times when texting 911 is a helpful tool.
Indiana is the only state in which 911 operators can initiate texts after receiving an interrupted or disconnected 911 call. Many of the 911 texts are from dispatch centers reaching out to residents after hang-ups or incomplete calls to ensure people are safe.
When using the 911 texting service, include important information like location and the nature of the emergency. Messages should be concise and not include abbreviations. If your text message is not received or cannot be processed, a bounce-back message will be sent instructing you to call 911.
Visit www.in911.net to learn more about Indiana’s text-to-911 program, and keep in mind this life-saving resource is now an option in an emergency.