LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Las Vegas police on Monday launched a new 9-1-1 program asking citizens to "Call if You Can. Text If You Can't."
The initiative, created by the department's Communications Bureau, is aimed at those in an emergency who cannot place phone calls, are asked to text "911" from their mobile devices for emergency assistance.
Enter "911" in the "to" phone number field
Add location and nature of the emergency in the text message body
However, due to the text-based nature of the program, there are some limitations involved. The public is asked to use English only, as the system cannot process multiple languages at this time. (Voice interpreters are available via phone call).
"Traditional 9-1-1 voice calls are still preferred since they are the most effective way for dispatchers to gather information and field emergency calls," a release stated. "Text to 9-1-1 helps those who are unable to speak due to an emergency, or for those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled. LVMPD has not had the capability to process 9-1-1 text messages until now."
- No emojis, abbreviations or slang (to avoid misinterpretation)
- No photos or video submissions (system is not equipped)
- Input exact address or approximate location, not relying on phone coordinates
- Group texts are not accepted
The deaf, speech or hearing-impaired community may also use the line, but should identify themselves for better assistance.
IMPORTANT: The line is for emergency situations only. All non-emergency incidents should be directed to 311 via phone call.