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PPD announces 911 upgrades


PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Pittsburg Police Department recently joined other Kansas agencies in an effort to improve public safety with access to next-generation 911 services. This partnership allows improved location services that include more accurate longitude/latitude, What3Words and state-wide GIS map integration, as well as 911 texting. 

This new system allows citizens to better communicate with emergency services through text messages to the communications center if necessary. Texting services include text to 911, text translation, and text locating, according to the PPD. 

“Call when you can, text if you can’t!” the PPD said in a social media post announcing the 911 upgrades. “You can now send a text to Dispatch if it is an emergency when it is too dangerous to speak, or you are physically not able to such as being deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled along with other reasons.” 

The FCC urges citizens to always communicate with 911 via a voice call if possible, but it is appropriate to use Text to 911 in the following circumstances: 

  • Text 911 when it’s too dangerous or volatile to make a voice phone call to not disclose your location or let someone know you called for help. 
  • When there's a medical emergency that makes the person unable to talk, but they can text. 
  • When there's low signal in cell service and you can't make a voice call, but you can send a text message. 
  • If a person is deaf, has hearing or speech impairment, they can use Text to 911 under any circumstances. Identify yourself as deaf, hearing-impaired, or speech-impaired when you text 911 in a non-emergency situation. 
  • If there is a language barrier since the system has a text translation service. You can also text 911 in a non-emergency situation if there is a language barrier. 

Keep in mind that you may need an active cell phone plan for your cell phone to send and receive text messages to 911, the PPD said. If you send a text message due to a dangerous situation, mute your cell phone because the operator will reply and it can be heard by anyone else who is there. The text message to 911 at the PPD will not allow sending pictures or videos. The caller should save them for responding officers. 

“We believe it's important for all citizens to have fast and appropriate access to emergency services, and we're pleased to provide this service to the citizens of Pittsburg,” the PPD said.