LAPD Plans to Accept 911 Text Messages
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced June 12 that it plans to upgrade the city’s 911 system to allow callers to use text messages to ask for help.
Officials said the system is necessary because there are circumstances where it is easier for someone to text for help rather than call, such as a kidnapping or a robbery.
The new system will also allow callers to send photos and videos from their cell phones to the city’s 911 call center.
Although officials said callers’ ability to send photos and videos could help police by giving them faster access to evidence such as an image of a getaway car involved in a robbery, others said that the feature could overload LAPD workers with data.
According to Tim Riley, the potential for data overload is precisely why the department is proceeding slowly.
The LAPD will initially start a stopgap system that allows the departments to get photos and video from cell phone calls only from callers it solicits. The system could be up and running later this year.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Los Angeles Times (06/13/07); Winton, Richard.