Tulsa 911 Getting Update To Allow Texting

Tuesday, January 7th 2020, 10:37 pm

Tulsa's 911 system will soon get an upgrade to accept text messages.

Right now, a text to 911 results in a bounced back message that does not go to dispatchers.

The new feature will be enabled once INCOG completes a $370,000 equipment purchase, and cell phone carriers activate the new system.

"It's not using the traditional 911 lines that come in, it's a whole new system,” said Darryl Maggard, the regional 911 coordinator for INCOG.   

The first step of texting capability will eventually be upgraded so dispatchers can receive pictures and video.

Advocates for the disabled and for domestic abuse victims said the new technology could be lifesaving.

"A lot of times in a violent situation people can't call for help or use a phone because the person hurting them won't let them or it will be more escalated if they do,” said Tracey Lyall, the CEO of Tulsa's Domestic Violence Intervention Service.

The update will enable texting to 911 systems in Broken Arrow, Bixby, Collinsville, Glenpool, Jenks, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook and Tulsa – covering Rogers, Tulsa and Osage Counties, along with Broken Arrow.

The texting service is not active yet, but INCOG expects the service to be enabled within six months.

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