What users need to know about the state’s new Text to 911 service


Getting help during an emergency is now coming into the 21st century.

You can now text 911 thanks to a new service launched Thursday.

It’s part of the Enhanced 911 or E911 system that’s been in the works for years.

It’s important to note for the feature to work, you have to make sure your phone’s location services is turned on. Depending on your phone, you can find the option in your privacy menu.

Text messages are limited to 160 characters per text, and skip the emojis.

“One of the important things you probably want to remember is that to use plain English if you can,” said police radio dispatcher Ah Lan Leong.

Another tip is to specify your location. “If you don’t know where you are, we don’t know where you are, and that’s one of the most important things you should put right in the beginning,” Leong said.

Officials note that location services can tell them what vicinity you’re in, but doesn’t always provide an exact location.

Even with this new texting option, officials say calling 911 is still the best option.

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