In 2019 the Riley County Police Department Dispatch Center upgraded its infrastructure to Next Generation 911 which features text-to-911 as part of its enhanced capabilities.
"This provides emergency Dispatchers a method to better serve our citizens as text-to-911 service becomes available for members of the deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, and nonverbal aphonic communities within Riley County,” Communications Center Manager Tyler Siefkes said.
Citizens should always call 911 when possible. Text-to-911 is a secondary option for situations where speaking would put you in more danger such as some domestic disputes and home invasions.
“The text option should be utilized by those experiencing an emergency situation where speaking may put you in harm’s way.” Siefkes said. “We encourage the public to call 911 if you can, and text if you can’t.”
To send a text to 911, use the message icon on your cell phone and put 911 in the number field (do not enter with dashes). In the message, include the location of the emergency you are reporting and whether you need police, fire, and/or medical assistance. Once you have initiated a text-to-911 conversation, do not delete the message or turn off your phone until the dispatcher tells you it is ok.
Text-to-911 accepts written words, not pictures, emojis, or video at this time. A text or data plan with a major wireless provider is required to use this service.