911 texting service expands to SLO, Monterey counties

Oct 4, 2017

San Luis Obispo County’s 911 emergency system is getting tech upgrade--you can now text 911 for emergencies.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Tony Cipolla said texting 911 will give greater access to emergency services for those in specific situations. For example, for some in the deaf community, calling 911 is a limited option--however texting would make it easy to communicate.

Cipolla said this also might help those in situations where it would compromise safety if a 911 call is detected.

“If there is a crime in progress, they’ll be able to text the information if they don’t want to make a voice phone call,” Cipolla said. “So there are a number of different applications that this can be used for.”

A recent grant to the county made the technology possible. The texting service is only available in English, however, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Office, access to more languages is in development. 

Cipolla said people should ensure to call first if they can, because calling 911 currently produces a faster response time. A 911 texting service is also available in Monterey County.