Sheriff Reminds Public That Texting 9-1-1 Is Possible In Dodge County

(Juneau) The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents that dispatchers can receive text messages. Sheriff Dale Schmidt says the phone system, which is first installed in the fall of 2015, offers “text to 9-1-1.” It is intended for those who are hearing impaired, those in a dangerous situation who do not want to draw attention and those in an area with poor cell coverage where a voice call may not work, but a text could. Customers of the four major wireless carriers – AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile along with US Cellular and Cricket – can utilize the service. Schmidt notes that providing location information and nature of the emergency in the first text message is imperative, since the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office will only receive an approximate location of the cell phone. Other things to keep in mind with text to 9-1-1: deactivated cellphones work for making voice calls to 911, but you must have a texting plan in order to text; there is a 160-character limit per text and pictures or videos are not currently supported; text-to-911 should only be used for emergency situations that require an immediate response from police, fire or emergency medical services; abbreviations or slang should be avoided; those contacting 9-1-1 near the county line may have calls directed to another county; roaming is currently not supported for Text-to-911; and finally the phone number is the same for texting or a voice call, 9-1-1.