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All Linn County Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), including the Cedar Rapids Joint Communications Center, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, and Marion Police Department, have text-to-911 capabilities. All three PSAPs have completed necessary upgrades and tested the technology so that cellular phone users can send a text message to 911 in an emergency.
All three PSAPs will have representatives available on Tuesday, December 5th at 2:00 p.m. at the Joint Communications Center, Cedar Rapids Police Department, 505 1st Street SW, for interviews and a demonstration of the technology. Jennifer Upah-Kyes, Executive Director, of Deaf Iowans Against Abuse, Inc. will also be available to discuss the importance of text-to-911 capabilities for citizens who are hard of hearing, deaf, or speech impaired.
While actually calling 911 is the preferred method of contacting emergency dispatch centers, the ability to text 911 can be useful in situations in which a voice call to 911 is impossible. Examples include a medical condition that makes it impossible for the caller to speak or a home invasion or domestic situation where the caller would be endangered by speaking on the phone.