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Now you can text to 911

Post Date:07/17/2019

City of Merced Emergency Services to include Text-to-911 services within its 911 Center

A new way of contacting 911 is being implemented in the City of Merced.

The Merced Police Department, in conjunction with the State of California 911 Emergency Communications Branch and AT&T, is providing the availability of a new integrated text-to-911 System.

This service is available to all residents in the City of Merced who may not be able to safely make a voice call to 911 in an emergency. The City of Merced strives to provide additional services to the deaf and hard of hearing community, but also to those residents who may not be able to safely make a voice call.  Our preferred way of receiving emergency calls is through a voice call to 911.

The Merced Police Communications Center completed testing with the major network carriers in our area: AT&T, Verizon T-Mobile, Sprint, and Xfinity mobile.  All of the testing was successful, and we are now ready to accept text-to-911 messages.  We will be the second agency in Merced County to begin accepting text-to-911 messages with others soon to come on board.

The text-to-911 system is an integrated part of our new phone system.  Just as the 911 dispatcher answers a voice call, the text message will come directly to the dispatcher in the same way.

We encourage people to make a voice call to 911 when you are physically safely able to call.  When time is of the essence, a voice call is handled faster due to the immediate interaction between the caller and the dispatcher.  Remember… “Call when you can, text when you can’t.”  The Federal Communications Commission recommends voice call to 911 instead of text-to-911.  However, text-to-911 is available when the need arises.
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