On April 2, 2019, the US Broward County authorities announced that anyone who was unable to call 911 in an emergency could send a text message asking if there were police, firefighters or medical staff nearby.
But county officials, including Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen and Broward County Police Chief Sean Zukowsky, stressed that 911 text messages should always be the second choice.
“I like to call 911 and talk to operators,” Bogen said at a press conference on Tuesday morning, which was broadcast live on Facebook. “Only cell phone signals can accurately find the caller. SMS may take longer than dialing 911, otherwise you may not be able to receive SMS messages.”
According to the mayor of Broward County, “this technology directly benefits people with hearing or speaking difficulties, and they can now apply for emergency services more effectively.” Bergen said that the 911 text should be public only if it is safe or not. The case of a phone call was used because of the invasion of an armed attacker at home or in the presence of domestic violence.
The scene we saw in horror movies, one of the victims, was scared to move, his voice could reveal that it was hidden, and did not know if it was necessary to risk calling these cases 911 texting, officials said.
However, what people write is not always clear, and if an emergency is added, the situation may be worse.
In addition, there are geographical issues. If you are in an emergency, but send a text message to a county without this technology, such as Miami-Dade, it will not work. This service is actually available in Palm Beach County, north of Broward County.
There are also language issues. The Broward 911 text system only processes English messages, as is the case in other counties in Florida. The service still does not provide Spanish or Creole.
The 911 text system is part of a regional improvement investment of $353 million and is not yet fully operational.
"This is the next step," said Udine U.S., at the press conference, citing demand. In fact, many people rely on today's mobile phones instead of landlines.
“We know that most people use the mobile phone to call 911,” he said. “The public is much more advanced than us, and we will have to solve the problem, just like we use a mobile phone to solve 911 calls. This is an important public safety issue.”
According to the Florida State Service Administration, 33 of the 67 counties have adopted the 911 text system, namely:
Palm Beach has used the service in 2018, Alachua, Brevard, Collier, Clay, Duval, Escambia, Manatee, Nassau, Volusia, Orange County, Pinellas, Seminole, Sarasota and St. Lucy.
According to the plan, Miami-Dade and Monroe will implement the service sometime in 2019.