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CT Residents Can Now Text To 911

Connecticut residents can now text emergency situations to police.
Connecticut residents can now text emergency situations to police. Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Connecticut has introduced new emergency telecommunications to help residents alert police in case of an urgent incident via a text message.

Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy announced this week that the state is introducing a new “Text-to-911” system, which will allow residents to send a text message from a cell phone in emergency situations when it’s unsafe or they are unable to place a phone call. The system went into effect this week.

Malloy noted that the system is intended specifically for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability. It can also be used during dangerous situations when it would be impractical to make a phone call, such as during a home invasion, incidents of domestic violence or an active mass shooting.

According to officials, “voice calls to 911 remain he best and fastest way to contact emergency services whenever it is feasible to do so.  Text-to-911 is only intended to be used when absolutely necessary or needed, which is why the new system’s theme is: Call if you can, text if you can’t.”

“The safety and security of our residents is a top priority and this is an important innovation that will indubitably save lives,” Malloy said in a statement.  “There are emergency situations where a voice call to 9-1-1 is neither possible nor safe.  This technology provides increased protection for residents, including victims of domestic violence and those who are deaf or hard of hearing, by increasing access to emergency responders in such scenarios.”

Connecticut has become one of only a few states to roll out such a feature. To use the “Text-to-911,” residents simply have to text a brief message to “911” that includes the location of the emergency and what services - police, fire, EMT - are needed. After that, residents just have to answer questions and follow the instructions from the call center, which will be maintained by DEESPP’s Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications.

“The Text-to-911 feature is a new alternative to calling 9-1-1 and designed for people who are in danger and are unable to speak,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman added.  “Residents in need of assistance now have a new tool to communicate with emergency services to get the help that they need.  This will certainly help save lives and I’m glad this technology is currently available in Connecticut.”

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