Weld County, Colo., Moves to Text-to-911 System

Though officials say calls should still be the primary option in an emergency, texts can now be received at the 911 center.

by Tyler Silvy, Greeley Tribune / December 5, 2017

(TNS) — Weld County officials on Monday announced its emergency communications center will now accept text messages.

The text-to-911 service, promoted under the national theme Call if You Can, Text if You Can't, allows people throughout Weld County to reach 911 via text during an emergency if calling is not an option, according to a Weld County news release.

"It provides another method for people to request help when it's desperately needed," Weld County Commissioner Chairwoman Julie Cozad said in the release. "It's a great asset to Weld County."

The text-to-911 option is a growing initiative, and was in just rolled out in Los Angeles County in California.

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams on Monday said it was a good idea, as people aren't always eager to call 911 and at times may not be able to call for fear of alerting someone to the call.

"It's just one more way for someone to call for help," Reams said. "Any time we can get another way to provide a service, it's a good thing."

Weld County officials still say calling 911 should be the first option. If residents must text, the county has offered the following guidelines:

  • No video — The current program understands words, not pictures or videos.
  • Location — Your location will need to be provided to dispatch to receive help quickly.
  • Delays — Messages can be delayed, causing dispatch to receive messages out order, causing a delay in receiving help.

For more information about the program, including examples of how and when to use the service, go to http://www.weldgov.com.

©2017 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.