The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Communications Bureau launched its new Text to 9-1-1 program today in order to help people who are unable to call during an emergency.
The new Text to 9-1-1 program asks residents to “Call If You Can. Text If You Can’t.” Traditional 9-1-1 voice calls are still preferred since they are the most effective way for dispatchers to gather information and field emergency calls.
Text to 9-1-1 helps those who are unable to speak due to an emergency, or for those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled.
LVMPD has not had the capability to process 9-1-1 text messages until now. If a citizen needs help but is unable to speak, or they cannot do so safely, they can text 9-1-1 using their mobile phone. To initiate a text to 9-1-1, enter 911 in the “To” field and enter the location and nature of the emergency in the text field.
It is important to know the limitations to the system, such as:
- KNOW AND PROVIDE YOUR LOCATION. The most important piece of information is to provide the caller’s location followed by what is happening.
- Please text 9-1-1 using English only. 9-1-1 can only process texts in English, however, we have interpreters available for voice calls.
- Citizens must use plain English. (Emojis, abbreviations, or slang are subject to misinterpretation and are, therefore, inappropriate).
- 9-1-1 is not equipped to receive photos or video.
- Do not rely on the phone coordinates such as longitude and latitude, since that information is not always exact or accurate.
- Text to 9-1-1 is for emergency situations only.
- If you are deaf, hearing impaired, or have a speech disability, you can use Text to 9-1-1 for other situations and we ask that you identify yourself as such when asking for nonemergency assistance.
- Do not send Text to 9-1-1 to multiple people. Texts to 9-1-1 cannot include other people and will not be received if others are included. Group texts are not possible.