You can now send a text for help to 9-1-1 in Visalia

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Visalia police launched a new way to reach 9-1-1 in emergencies.

If you're in a position where you need help, but can't make a phone call, you can now send a text to 9-1-1.

Police say the new program could be helpful to people who may be hearing or voice impaired, unable to speak due to a medical emergency, or are in a situation where talking would cause them danger.

They add if you're going to text, be sure you give your exact location and emergency.

"Your location and then what the issue is. You know, someone's breaking into my house, you know, I've been assaulted by my husband or my spouse, and I'm locked in the bedroom, I don't want to call, that information," said Sgt. Gary Williams.

Customers must be in the range of cell towers in the city of Visalia.

Police still recommend calling 9-1-1 if possible, because the process is faster.

Visalia police are asking members of the public not to test the new text 9-1-1 service, and to only text, if there is an emergency.
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