County officials have a new system that allows you to send a text message if you are unable to make a phone call.
The text message option will help save lives for those who may be hard of hearing or are speech impaired, and also in instances when talking on the phone may tip off a criminal and endanger your life.
Dispatchers will respond to your emergency via text. Mel Maier, chief of emergency management operations for the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, reminds us that dispatchers always prefer to talk on the phone as information is given and received more quickly.
Officials will also be able to track your location as the texts are being exchanged. They warn that if you have turned off GPS location on your phone, tracking your location becomes more difficult.
Maier says users abusing the 911 texting system can also be temporarily blocked so 911 services won't be interrupted for those in real danger. He adds those who abuse the texting system will be prosecuted.