Text-To-911 Now Available In Lewis and Clark County
Citizens in need of emergency services now have the option to text the 911 dispatch center here in Helena that serves the Lewis and Clark County.
The text service was created for individuals with disabilities or those that could face further harm from a predator if they are found reaching out for help. Law enforcement calls this an enhancement to the 911 service only to be used in those unique and necessary situations. Law enforcement says that you should always call rather than text when possible.
"We don't recommend that people use this as a main course of calling 911 because of the way that the call comes into dispatch," said Lt. Brett Petty.
Phone companies are required to give immediate priority on phone lines to calls that are dialed to 911. Text messages do not receive that same priority and are sent just like any average message.
Calls also reveal a more accurate initial GPS location to the 911 dispatcher than text messages do.
The Helena Police Department wants to remind citizens that while the new option is more convenient, just like an emergency phone call, the emergency text system is meant to use, not abuse.