OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Starting on Thursday, residents in Oakland can now contact police during emergency situations by texting 911, police said.
Police are still encouraging residents to call 911 if they can during emergencies, however, residents can use the new text service during emergencies where they can’t safely place a phone call.
Additionally, the service can be used by those who are deaf or hard of hearing or have speech or language disorders, police said.
To use the service, residents can enter 911 without spaces or hyphens, and include the emergency, as well as the address and cross streets.
The texts will reach emergency dispatchers, who may ask additional questions, according to police.
Because the service is just being rolled out, police said it may not be available in all parts of the city and if users receive an automatic “bounce-back” message, they should try calling 911 instead.
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