Wash. counties report most 911 texts are accidents or pranks

Since July 8, one communication center received more than 40 texts, but only four were for actual emergencies

The Associated Press

EVERETT, Wash. — Washington counties that allow people to text 911 instead of dial are finding many messages are bogus.

KOMO-TV reports that since July 8, Southwest Snohomish County Communications Agency has received more than 40 texts, but only four have been for actual emergencies. Two were from hearing-impaired people and two from domestic violence victims.

Similarly, in Kitsap County, which launched texting services March 31, dispatchers received 62 texts during a three month period. Of those, 25 were accidental or misdials and 37 were texts for service.

SNOCOM Executive Director Debbie Grady says the majority of messages are from people testing the system, non-emergencies or pranks.

Still, dispatchers encourage those who can't call 911 to text in an emergency

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