By Edward Cardenas

CLINTON TOWNSHIP (CBS Detroit) – Cellular phone users in Macomb County now have the option to send 911 emergency requests though SMS (Short Messaging Services).

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham announced Monday that the Sheriff’s Dispatch Center can receive the SMS text messages from persons messaging anywhere in Macomb County using Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint cell-phone service providers.

When a 911 text message  is received by COMTEC, dispatchers will be able to see the latitude and longitude from the cell-phone user but not the exact location from where the message was sent.

If the emergency exists in one of the communities that are incapable of receiving 911 text messages, the Sheriff’s Dispatchers will maintain the text message session and relay the information to the proper PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) to provide emergency services.

“This communication tool is a perfect solution for the hearing impaired,” Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said in a release.

“However, whenever possible, we still want to encourage users to dial ‘911’ in the case of any emergency,” said Wickersham, who added that dispatchers can obtain additional information from callers to dispatch proper resources. “Call if you can, text if you can’t.”


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