The City of Maricopa has joined Pinal County’s Text-to-911 network and can now directly receive texts from within the city.
The alternate form of communication to emergency dispatchers has been available throughout the county since October, with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office taking messages and relaying them over the phone for agencies unable to receive the text messages directly.
Direct text messaging to Maricopa 911 dispatchers became available Feb. 1. The state of Arizona made funding available to public safety agencies around the state for Text-to-911 technology as part of a settlement for litigation reached in 2018.
Although Text-to-911 has been introduced to allow people to reach emergency agencies when they are not able to place a phone call because of disability or the possibility of the suspect hearing a voice call, the City of Maricopa encourages people to place voice calls whenever possible.
“While texting is available, voice calls to 911 are much more expedient and provide much more information to 911 call centers,” city spokesman Luis Villa said.
Photos and videos cannot be texted to 911, and emergency texts cannot be sent from a deactivated phone, while voice calls to 911 can be. Texts to 911 can’t be delivered if a cellphone is in “roaming” status.
Do not text while driving. There’s a possibility texts to 911 could be delayed, delivered out of order or not received at all.
To send a Text-to-911 anywhere in Pinal County:
- Type 9-1-1 in the “To” field on your mobile phone or device.
- Provide your location and nature of your emergency in your first text.
- Then hit “send” on your device.
- Be prepared to respond quickly to any questions and instructions from the dispatcher.
- Use simple words and do not use abbreviations.