September 10, 2019
The Riley County Police Department Emergency Communications Center has upgraded its infrastructure to Next Generation 911, an internet-based system.
The transition to NG911 is the beginning step toward enhanced capabilities such as more accurate caller location and a faster, more resilient emergency system. Next Generation 911 allows for text-to-911 services in addition to the potential for sending and receiving other digital information and data in the future.
"This will provide 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 your address or location of the emergency and type of help you need to include police, fire, and/or medical. 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.