Toombs County upgrades 911 system to include text service

Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 3:56 PM EDT
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TOOMBS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - In Toombs County, help from 911 can now be just a text away. The county rolled out a new feature they hope people reserve from certain kinds of emergencies.

Emergency personnel here say most of their 911 calls now come from cell phones. They say this new software will allow them to better locate a caller, but also help communicate in the meantime.

Travis Dawkins says he’s had those calls where the person was afraid to speak out loud.

“It was a home invasion situation. Somebody was hiding in the bathroom because someone was in their house. They were trying to stay safe and they whispered to me on the phone,” said Dawkins.

Toombs County’s new 911 system upgrade includes Texty - a program that allows people to text their emergency to 911. The dispatcher can text back and forth to get info.

“It will be great, especially if they’re in a situation like domestic abuse,” said Capt. Darlene Smith, with Toombs County 911

“They could be texting 911, relaying information, and the person in the room with the issue is none the wiser,” said Capt. Jordan Kight, with the Toombs Co. Sheriff’s Office.

The system includes software to hone in to the phone for a more accurate location and even translates texts from Spanish to English and back.

They’re already warning people that a prank 911 text will be treated like a prank 911 call. They say this system is here to help people, not be abused.