Amherst, Ohio, will join the ranks of many police departments that are are choosing to kick-start their own SMS service, instead of waiting for the nationwide NG-9-1-1 system. Larger agencies in Chicago and Philadelphia regularly use text messages as a way to communicate with citizens in potentially dangerous situations, according to the Sun News, and Amherst officials believe they can benefit from the same service.
Oftentimes, this small community may only have one dispatcher on staff at a time. This additional line will ensure that responders can answer minor concerns or complaints quickly, while handling emergency phone calls at the same time.
"We wanted to give the public another way to contact us," Amherst Police Chief Joseph Kucirek told the source. "If it helps the community reach us, then it is a good thing."
Each incoming text message will show up on the dispatcher's computer screen, allowing them to respond as soon as possible. In situations, where the resident might be in danger, they can transfer the information to another person on staff to get the information they need.
Amherst officers are hoping because long code SMS has become so popular among cell phone users, that they will be able to expand their reach within the town.
"We hope that parents teach the kids, here's a phone number you can text to the police department if you can't talk to them," Kucirek told FOX 8, an affiliate based in Cleveland, Ohio.
Emergency responders who wish to establish a similar platform at their local department can do so through the support of Swift SMS Gateway. We are a leading provider in implementing a variety of SMS services.