The City of Decatur Police Department is pleased to announce the ability to send a text message to 9-1-1 as an integrated service to our 9-1-1 network and 9-1-1 equipment. Thorough testing has been conducted and Text to 9-1-1 is live, for the public inside the City limits of Decatur.
Texting to 9-1-1 provides accessibility to the hearing and speech impaired population and provides an alternative to reach help in a dangerous situation when a voice call is not possible or where a voice call fails due to a high volume of phone activity but texting is successful.
How to text to 9-1-1 in an emergency:
- Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field. The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed.
- Push the “Send” button.
- Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
- Text in simple words- do not use abbreviations.
- Keep the text message brief and concise.
When to text to 9-1-1:
- If you are hearing impaired.
- When a voice call could increase a threat.
- If you are injured and cannot speak.
- If you are in a remote location and can only send a text message.
Currently, the four major carriers; AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have agreed to offer the text to 9-1-1 service. However, this does not mean that the service is available in all areas. Should you be out of the area, for that carrier, you will receive a message stating that the text service is not available and to call 9-1-1. Photos, videos and other attachments cannot currently be sent to 911 via text, although these capabilities will be available in the future.
CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU MUST