Text-To-911 Services Raise Compatibility Issues In Sacramento County

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — Cellphone carriers will be capable of supporting text-to-911 services starting next week, but there are a lot of kinks to work out before it comes to the Sacramento area.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Capt. Rosanne Richael says the service hasn’t reached the region because it’s not that easy.

“Texting to 911 is not going to be as fluid as voice communication,” she said.

The department is looking at how to implement it, but one of the biggest hurdles will be making sure surrounding communities have compatible technology in case a call comes from a person crossing jurisdictions.

“If you do not have that communication between say us and [Sacramento Police], when your jurisdictional boundary can literally be across the street, it will make it very difficult to handle that situation in a timely manner, thus, putting peoples’ lives in jeopardy,” she said.

Other issues include how to deal with language barriers and longer call times.

“We don’t want to be the first to get it out there, necessarily, just for the sake of saying we’re the first,” she said. “We want to be able to get it out there and get it right the first time.”

Much like when 911 was first implemented nationwide, public safety officials eventually want to allow texting 911 nationwide, raising further compatibility issues.


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