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Can’t talk? You can now text police from a big chunk of land near the Utah-Arizona border

Posted at 9:48 AM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 11:48:12-05

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office has announced it has expanded its 911 service to include text message capabilities.

Mohave County, Arizona, which has a huge chunk of land along the Utah-Arizona border, said in a statement that emergency texting capabilities will include unincorporated areas and Lake Havasu City. The cities of Kingman and Bullhead do not yet have the text message to 911 capability, the sheriff’s office said.

“Text to 911 provides significant benefits to citizens, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally. For example, text to 911 will be very useful to the approximately 34 million Americans who are hard of hearing, deaf, or speech impaired. Text to 911 could also help in situations when a crime is in progress; the caller is facing domestic violence abuse; the caller is injured and cannot speak; or other scenarios,” the agency said in a statement.

It could prove beneficial to remote parts south of St. George, Utah and Colorado City and Fredonia, Ariz. But cell phone service in those areas can still be an issue.

According to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, here’s how to text the agency’s 911 dispatch in an emergency:

  •  Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field;
  •  The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed;
  • Push the “Send” button.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.
  • Text location information is not equal to current location technology.
  • As with all text messages, 9-1-1 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not be received.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text-to-9-1-1
  • If texting to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that texting 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
  • Do not text and drive.