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Wed August 3, 2011
Texting 911 in Durham
Emergency Dispatch services in Durham County can now receive text messages. Verizon subscribers in distress in Durham can now send an text message to 9-1-1. The six month trial is a joint venture between the wireless company and the county. The capability was installed at no charge to taxpayers. Jim Soukup of the Durham Police Department says the trial opens the door for the integration of sophisticated mobile phone technology.
Jim Soukup: "Hopefully down the road the not too distant future. start experimenting with pictures from cell-phones videos things like that as well."
Officials advise people to send a text only when calling is not an option. The time it takes to respond to a text may be longer. The location of the texter should be included in the message so dispatch knows where to send help. Police say slang should never be used in a 9-1-1 text.