There’s a new 911 service where citizens can “call if you can, text if you can’t.”

Both the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and Punta Gorda Police Department 911 centers can now receive text messages, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said Friday on Facebook.

Texting 911 should only be used when someone is unable to hear or speak — whether they’re hearing-impaired without access to a TTY — or when reporting a crime from a situation where they are afraid of being heard when making a voice call.

But texting still has its limitations, so calling remains the best option.

“Even with the limitations, we feel that text to 911 service can be a valuable resource to those that are unable to speak or hear,” CCSO said.

There is no guarantee that a message will be sent or received, which depends on different phone carriers. It’s possible that messages would be received out of order as well, according to CCSO.


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