Gwinnett residents will (eventually) be able to text 911


By this time next year, Gwinnett County residents may be able to send emergency text messages to 911. 

The county’s Board of Commissioners approved Tuesday a $615,000 contract that will allow the Gwinnett police department to upgrade its current 911 call-handling  system. Deputy Chief Brett West said during the commission meeting that the upgrade would take the current analog system and make it digital — while also supporting text-to-911 services, which are meant as a back-up to voice calls.

MORE GWINNETT NEWS: Transit as a lifeline: Low-income metro Atlantans eager for expansion

Gwinnett police spokesman Sgt. Jake Smith said that Gwinnett does not currently have text-to-911 capabilities but a partial implementation, meant largely to serve the deaf community, “could happen in early 2019.” 

Full implementation, he said, would likely not happen until the following summer or fall.

The majority of cities and counties across the country still do not offer text-to-911, though its popularity is growing. 

Cobb County has had text-to-911 since Sept. 2015, a spokesman said, and has received nearly 1,300 texts to its call center in the years since. 

Officials said Fulton County is in the process of implementing emergency texts for residents of its unincorporated area and the cities of South Fulton, Union City, Chattahoochee Hills, Fairburn and Palmetto. 

The cities of Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Sandy Springs all already offer the service, they said.

DeKalb officials said that county is also in the process of implementing text-to-911.

—Staff writers Arielle Kass, Meris Lutz and Tia Mitchell contributed to this article.

In other Gwinnett news:


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

PSC races headed to November without runoffs
PSC races headed to November without runoffs

All three Georgia races for the Public Service Commission (PSC) will head directly to the November general election without runoffs. Incumbent Tricia Pridemore narrowly beat her Republican opponent John Hitchins to win her party nomination for the District 5 Public Service Commission race. Pridemore, who was appointed in November by Governor Nathan...
1 dead after shooting at Carroll County motel, police say
1 dead after shooting at Carroll County motel, police say

A shooting at a Carroll County motel has left one man dead, Channel 2 Action News reported. The shooting took place Tuesday night at the Villa Rica motel on Ga. 61, Channel 2 reported. No other details were released. An investigation is ongoing. — Please return to AJC.com for updates.
Cobb Commission incumbents stave off challengers — for now
Cobb Commission incumbents stave off challengers — for now

Both incumbent Cobb County commissioners survived the Tuesday’s primary challenges, despite backlash over a pending budget deficit and proposed tax hike. The unofficial results, however, showed that plenty of voters remain dissatisfied with their current representatives. District 1 West Cobb Commissioner Bob Weatherford will face neighborhood...
Bagel Palace is latest exit amid Toco Hills Shopping Center revamp
Bagel Palace is latest exit amid Toco Hills Shopping Center revamp

The Toco Hills Shopping Center has been part of Vivi Siegel’s life since she moved to Atlanta in 2001. These days, however, she is “sad and bewildered” by the changes happening there. For decades, it held tenants like Petite Auberge, Famous Pub, jewelry store Alexander’s of Atlanta, footwear retailer Shoe Center, Radio Shack...
Gwinnett approves $34M purchase of movie-making economic catalyst site
Gwinnett approves $34M purchase of movie-making economic catalyst site

Gwinnett County is two steps closer to owning more than 100 acres of a Norcross-area property that could be the future home of a transit center, a large mixed-use development, future movie production — or all three.  The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners and the county’s Urban Redevelopment Agency — which are made up of the same...
More Stories