On April 9, 2020, The Monterey Park Police Department Communications Center implemented the ability for citizens to text-to-911 during emergencies. Text-to-911 service is available for those individuals who cannot safely make a voice call to 911 in an emergency. This will be a valuable service to the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Text-to-911 is available for those with wireless plans from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Text-to-911 may not be available outside of Monterey Park. If a text is made to 911 where that service is not available, a message will be sent back to the phone advising the customer to make a voice call.
Some situations when text-to-911 is appropriate:
- Deaf, hard of hearing callers, or individuals with a speech disability
- A caller who is unable to speak due to a medical or other condition
- Emergency situations that would put the caller in danger if making a voice call such as abduction, domestic violence or active shooter situation
When texting to 911, follow these guidelines:
- Provide your exact address or location
- Explain the type of emergency or help that is being requested
- Be prepared to answer any questions that the 911-telecomminicator texts back
- Use plain language; do not use abbreviations, symbols, emoticons, or photos
- Messages should be brief and concise
Texting 911 can be done by typing “911” in the field for a phone number. No other numbers need to be used. Texting should be done through your wireless phones text messaging service and not from third party texting applications. Text-to-911 does require an active telephone service plan with data or it will not work.
The best way to contact 911 is by making a voice call. Please only utilize this service in emergency circumstances where a voice call is not possible or safe. Do not use this service to ask general questions or non-emergency calls. For non-emergencies, the Monterey Park Police Department can be contacted at 626-573-1311.
Remember: “CALL if You Can, TEXT if You Can’t!”
Lieutenant Gus Jimenez, Monterey Park Police Department
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