KCPD: Don't text 911 yet - KCTV5

KCPD: Don't text 911 yet

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Starting this week, the nation's top cell phone providers are making it possible for people to send a text to 911 when they need help. But there are still hurdles on the receiving end. Starting this week, the nation's top cell phone providers are making it possible for people to send a text to 911 when they need help. But there are still hurdles on the receiving end.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Starting this week, the nation's top cell phone providers are making it possible for people to send a text to 911 when they need help.

But there are still hurdles on the receiving end.

Starting Thursday, the service should be available. The problem is that many 911 operators won't be able to see those texts yet, including some in the metro.

KCTV5 News reached out to local emergency authorities to see who is ready and who isn't.

The Kansas City Police Department said their 911 call center won't be able to support texts by Thursday because of some technological hurdles.

So calling 911 is still the best way to get help right away.

While text-to-911 will make a big difference for the hearing and speech impaired and in situations where placing a call is dangerous, 911 operators say calls provide information that texts don't.

"We'll get it to the officers that are out there. And say this person is a crying, screaming citizen, we're not able to get much, because they're under a lot of stress. We have a location, this is what is going on that we can hear in background," said Kimberly Murch, dispatch supervisor for the California Highway Patrol.

If people text 911 and the service isn't up and running, they get a bounce-back message instructing them to call instead.

To check where text-to-911 is available, click here.

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