Paulding County launches 'text to 911' program

DALLAS, Ga -- When 10-year-old Christopher King heard glass shatter and burglars enter his him he ran upstairs to his bedroom and hid under the bed. He had his cell phone and called 911 scared to death that the intruders would hear him.

That happened in July 2012 in Lawrenceville and the burglars who broke into his house were arrested thanks to his daring call.

Now if that happens to a child or anyone in Paulding County, they won't have to say a word to get help. Paulding County 911 is launching "text to 911", the first of its kind in the state of Georgia.

911 operators are able to communicate with people who are hearing impaired or any person who is unable to make a voice call.

"It's important so that people that aren't able to make those voice connections with 911 are able to get the help that they need," said Paulding County 911 Operations Manager Samantha Greene.

You can simply text your plea for help to 911 and an operator will text you back. You can communicate your emergency by text, whether it be a medical emergency that renders a person incapable of speech, or a home invasion or abduction.

Beginning April 1, 2014 Verizon Wireless customers within range of a Paulding County cell tower will be able to send text messages to 911. "We would like to remind the public that, when possible, a voice call should be placed to 911," said David Mumford, Paulding County 911 Director. "But text is available when you cannot place a voice call."

Mumford said other cell carriers will be providing the technology in the near future.

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