You can now text 911 in Grayson, Fannin, Cooke counties

Published: Jun. 7, 2018 at 4:44 PM CDT
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Emergency help is now just a text message away in Grayson, Fannin and Cooke counties.

A simple text to 911 can mean the difference between life and death, which is why the Texoma Council of Governments has been working for the past year to get the feature off the ground for the counties.

Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are the carriers on board.

"We want to make sure people still use calling first," said Capt. Sarah Bigham with the Grayson County Sheriff's Office. "But there are situations where it's dangerous to call, so we want to let them know text is available."

And its easy to use: you'll just open up your messages, dial 911, text your location and emergency, and somebody should be on their way in minutes.

There are many situations local dispatchers point to where texting may be a necessity.

"Situations in domestic violence, those victims can text," said Megan Robinson, a dispatch director at the Bonham Police Department. "Kids today are so good at texting-- they could let us know mom and dad are in a fight."

Local police officers point to situations like home invasions, abductions and school shootings to utilize the feature, but all still recommend calling as the best option.

The service was made live Thursday. Texting is only in English now and you can't send a message from texting apps like WhatsApp.

"It's a great project, we encourage the public to use it," Bigham said.