The 911 center in Newton County, Indiana officially begins accepting text messages for emergencies Wednesday.
The public is urged to only use text messaging to 911 when a voice call is not possible or it is not safe to make a voice call. The Newton County Sheriff's Department emphasizes location and nature of the emergency should be the first communication.
Texting is not always instantaneous. Abbreviations and slang should never be used so that the dialogue can be as clear as possible.
Sheriff Tom VanVleet stresses " voice calls are preferred over text, but is texting is the only option, relaying vital info is imperative.
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are providing this service to their customers. Other carriers are expected to follow in the near future.