Text to 911

A new Text-to-9-1-1 service is now operating in Tracy city limits.

Residents can now ask for emergency help by texting 9-1-1 to the Tracy Police Department at times when it may not be safe to make a voice phone call.

The Text to 9-1-1 service is available within Tracy city limits for dangerous situation like abductions, domestic violence or active shooters when a victim may not be able to safely call and speak to the police or for people who are deaf, have a speech disability or are hard of hearing.

Placing a voice call to 9-1-1 is still the preferred method to contact police in case of an emergency but people can use the Text-to-9-1-1 if it is not safe to be heard contacting police or when cell phone reception is poor and phone call connection is not possible.

Emergency texts are made by entering the numbers 911 in the “To” field. the first message should be brief and say where the emergency, including the city is, what type of emergency – police, fire or medical — and what kind of help is needed. The person then presses the send button to deliver the text.

Text-to-9-1-1 messages cannot be sent to more than one person and should not be included in a group text.

Similar to all text messages, Text-to-9-1-1 messages may talk longer to arrive.

the service should only be used in an emergency and misuse of Text-to-9-1-1 is a crime and prevents dispatchers from helping other people with emergencies.

Police said there are several tips to remember when using Text-to-9-1-1:

  • Do not text and drive.
  • Be sure to give clear information about the type of emergency an the location.
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.
  • Use simple words, Don’t use abbreviations, emojis or text lingo.
  • Be ready to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 dispatcher.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to Text-to-9-1-1.

Text to 9-1-1 service is available through all major mobile phone carriers but does require a texting or data plan for the phone. Disconnected cell phones using WiFi or a third party app can’t use the service.

For more information about Text-to-9-1-1 services in the City of Tracy, please contact Communications Unit Supervisor Michele Clubb at 209-831-6656 or Michele.Clubb@tracypd.com.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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