TUCSON, Ariz. — "Call if you can, text if you can't."
That's the motto for the newly launched Text 911 program in Pima County.
Those who are in an emergency and cannot talk on the phone can now text the number 911 for help. The Pima County Sheriff's Department says they still prefer those in an emergency call, but the new option is available for those who may be in a situation where that's not possible.
When texting 911, Pima County says the most important step is to tell the dispatcher your location. Pima County also says the service will not work with an internet messaging service -- only with standard SMS text messages.
Click here for a full FAQ on the new text 911 service.
PCSD says those who text false information to 911 could face prosecution:
A person charged with False Reporting would be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor, or a felony for subsequent violations.
A person convicted of False Reporting could be liable for the expenses of the response to and/or investigation of the reported incident.