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After 4 years, Indiana embraces text-to-911 in emergencies

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Emergency response officials say residents in all 92 Indiana counties can now send text-to-911 messages during emergencies if they’re unable to speak to dispatchers.

Ed Reuter is executive director of the Statewide 911 Board. He says Indiana began adopting text-to-911 four years ago and the service is now exceeding expectations statewide.

Reuter tells The Journal Gazette that “Indiana is the nation’s leader” in the technology. He says Indiana is the only state where 911 operators can initiate texts after receiving a disconnected or dropped 911 call.

Indiana’s dispatch centers now receive an average of between 500 and 600 text-to-911 calls every day.

Those include cases where someone is being held hostage but are afraid to call the police because they’re worried their captor might hear them speaking to a dispatcher.