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Text to 911: Another way to reach us in an emergency

March 20, 2019

Reprinted from City of Walnut Creek Nutshell  Winter 2018

Call if you can, text if you can’t!

Walnut Creek Police Department’s Communications Center is now able to receive text messages to the 911 emergency system. While this is an important enhancement, it is critical to note that this should not be your first approach for reaching
our dispatchers. A voice call to 911 in an emergency is always the best way to reach the Department. However, if you are in a situation where it is unsafe to speak, or if you cannot call because of a hearing or speech impairment, this is an important new tool.

To send a text message to our 911 team, enter the numbers 911 in the “To” field of a new text message. The body of the text should include the exact location of the emergency, and if you need police, fire or an ambulance to respond. Please do not send photos, videos or any other information unless prompted,
and keep your texts short and simple.

It is also important to keep in mind that 911 is for true emergencies only. Many Bay Area law enforcement agencies are noticing an increase in the number of callers using the 911 system for a variety of customer service issues. Every time a 911 line is tied-up with a non-emergency call, a dispatcher’s attention is being diverted away from someone who may be calling with a life or death scenario. If you do call 911 by mistake, do not hang up; stay on the line and let the dispatcher know so that an officer is not dispatched to your location.

Take time to program other important non-emergency numbers into your phone. The Police Department non-emergency number is 925-935-6400, and the Police Records number is 925-943-5890.

 

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