Thursday, June 11, 2009

Texting 911 -- imagine the reply "you texted to 911, if this is not an emergency . . .

please text to the local police text number -- 555-0911 -- or post your non-emergency to our Facebook or MySpace wall or send us a message on Twitter to @yourpolicedepartment."

We noted in Can we text to 911, too? there aren't too many police departments on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter yet (though there has been some improvement), but . . . I can text the local PD to report a crime via text. We couldn't . . . text to 911 and have Google Latitude (My Location) share your current location with the police (if we choose).

Well now it's possible! (at least texting to 911, in Des Moines)

Black Hawk's dispatch center is believed to be the first in the nation capable of communicating with 911 "callers" via standard text-messaging, a big breakthrough as the country's emergency responders race to keep up with the rapid evolution of human communication.

In the understatement of the year, Barbara Vos, the state's 911 program manager, said:

"A lot of people want to text 911 - we know that"

I just wonder why this wasn't considered early on . . . must not have involved a government bureaucrat -- they know everything about business!

What do you think?

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