As the fifth county in Florida to launch Text-to-911, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center will soon have the ability to provide 911 service, where people can text to alert communications officers the nature of their emergency and location. Citizens with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and SouthernLINC will have access to the new feature, but only text messages will be accepted at this time. Sheriff Mike Adkinson stated “We want to leverage technology to provide the highest level of service available to our citizen’s and visitors. Staying on the cutting edge of new and innovative ideas helps us better serve our stakeholders and ultimately this makes Walton County safer.”
Calling 911 is the preferred method as there could be a delay in the transmission. Texting does require a lower signal strength however citizens need to keep in mind that Text-to-911 is currently only available in certain markets where 911 call centers, also known as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), have elected to accept emergency text messages from the public. If citizens choose to text, remember to be brief, concise, but without abbreviations. The service will be a benefit to those with speech or hearing impairment and for those who find themselves in a situation where text is the safest option.
Walton County is very proud to offer this service to citizens and will be the first in the Florida Panhandle to do it.