Text-to-911 expanding to Portsmouth on September 15


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Residents in Portsmouth will soon be able to reach emergency dispatchers by texting 911.

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The new program is free and works the same as a call to 911 does – a telecommunicator at the DEPR emergency operation center will receive the text and communicate with the person about their emergency within seconds.

The program is set to launch on September 15, 2021.

Residents in Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and York are already eligible for the text-to-911 program.

Officials say when using the text service:

  • Do not send photos or videos to 911.
  • Do not copy others on the message to 911.
  • Text-to-911 cannot include more than one person.

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