Jefferson Parish launches Text-to-911 service

Jefferson Parish launches Text-to-911 service

GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - People in Jefferson Parish have a new way to reach 911 if they can't call for help.

The Jefferson Parish 911 Communications District launched a Text-to-911 service. Anyone in the parish with a cell phone from the four major providers, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile, can text the 911 center for help.

Sheriff Newell Normand says calling remains the best way to reach 911 operators but sometimes it might be dangerous to talk on the phone. That's where this new service comes in handy.

"There may be opportunities where it's not in the best interest of the caller to use voice communication," says Normand. "For example, in the case of a home invasion or maybe a domestic violence situation where the perpetrator is still within the confines of the home and near the caller, the caller may not be able to avail themselves of communicating with 911 and requesting help visa vie voice communication. That's we have worked every hard to make sure and ensure that we are able to receive text messaging."

People who use the Text-to-911 need to provide the specific location and nature of the emergency in their first message to the communications center.

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