Charlotte County offers 911 text dispatch service

Anyone in Charlotte County can text a 911 dispatch service in the event of an emergency.

The service was created for scenarios where talking on the phone would put a person’s safety at risk.

“Say you’re in a situation where you’re not able to be on the phone if someone is breaking into your house,” said Port Charlotte resident Melissa Azbell.

A woman called 911 last week after a man allegedly tried to kidnap her and pour gas on her camper on Cook Road in Punta Gorda.

Laurie Anderson, an E911 coordinator in Charlotte County, stressed an address is the “first and most important information that they need to give.”

While the new system may take some getting used to, both law enforcement and residents agree it could be a life changing initiative.

“Any technology that they can use to save lives should be made use of,” said Port Charlotte resident Gail Stevens.

Calling is preferable in the event of an emergency, but if texting, use complete sentences as well as refrain from using abbreviations and emojis in messages.

Reporter:Kristi Gross
Writer:Rachel Ravina
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