Last month, a situation in Indiana showcased the effectiveness of texting 911 services. Now, another incident in the state shows why the platform should become a nationwide standard.
On Monday, August 10, a woman in La Paz sent a text to 911 reporting an incident of domestic violence. The responder was able to quickly get all the relevant information, including her location, what she needed and the current situation.
The 911 operator helped the woman escape with her child from her boyfriend, who had hit her. She got into her car and, as her boyfriend was walking towards them, police arrived on the scene and kept the situation from escalating further.
According to Matt Pitney, the Dispatch Supervisor for the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, this situation exemplifies why text to 911 is needed.
"If there's somebody in their house and you don't want to alert them where you're at, texting would certainly be a good time for that," Pitney told local news affiliate WNDU.
Pitney explained that once the system was up and running in April of last year, both operators and those in need of help latched onto the system quickly. Dispatchers view the messages similarly to an instant messaging application allowing them to easily respond to those in need and readily refer to previously relayed information. Pitney also said that those using the system for assistance are more likely to respond to operators in a text than they would from a phone call.
According to WNDU, most in Indiana upgraded to text to 911 in the last two years, with only four of 92 counties still outstanding.
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