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LAPD plans to accept 911 text messages

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  • LAPD plans to accept 911 text messages

    By Richard Winton
    Los Angeles Times

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday announced plans to pursue improvements to the city's 911 system, saying callers in the future will be able to use text messages, photos and even video from cellphones to seek emergency assistance.

    Officials told the L.A. Police Commission that they were beginning to seek money to install the new system, which they believe could aid crime fighting by providing callers with alternative ways to alert authorities and provide evidence swiftly.

    "Sometimes a person calls 911 and says they just saw a robbery and they've snapped an image or video of the getaway car," said Sgt. Lee Sands. "We want to find a way to get that to officers in the field as fast as possible."

    Officials said there are times when it's easier for someone in need to text for help rather than call. "There are circumstances when a person during a kidnap or robbery can't talk to an operator but they can message them," Sands said.

    The new system speaks to the rise of the text message as a form of communication — especially among younger cellphone users — as well as the proliferation of phones with cameras.

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    "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill." Sun-Tzu

  • #2
    Sounds like a great idea. The more options to get the help you need the better.
    "Gun control, the theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists. " Author Unknown

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    • #3
      Great idea, but I see a few shortcomings...namely the fact that we can't quickly track cell phones. I'm willing to bet that more often than not people will forget to include their location.

      Yesterday I think my eyes damn near rolled into the back of my head when they were talking about this on the news saying how great it will be since people who are afraid to talk to the police can now just text message in their crime tips. It's 911, not Mcgruff the crime dog.

      Besides if people won't "stop snitchin' " in person, I doubt they're going to text in.
      Anything that hits the fan,
      Will not be evenly distributed.

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      • #4
        Definatly bugs to work out, but a step in the right direction
        "Gun control, the theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists. " Author Unknown

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        • #5
          Nothings perfect, but I can see some real advantages. Imagine if instead of just getting a description of a subject the responding officer can actually see a picture?

          I don't think it would do much for me, I personally can count on one hand the number of text messages and pictures I"ve sent, but for those people who use a cell phone like its an extension of their hands it may be a great new tool.

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