A metro Atlanta police department's text-to-911 feature helped a deaf woman flag police after noticing two young children alone in a car, the department said.
A deaf shopper at North Point Mall in Alpharetta contacted 911 Monday after noticing two young children alone in a car in the parking lot. A screenshot of the text conversation has gone viral on Facebook, with more than 6,300 shares since being posted later that same day.
A police officer arrived on the scene and discovered two small children that had been left in the car for almost an hour, an Alpharetta Public Safety Department spokesperson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"I'm inside (a) store now so I can't see the make or kind (of the car) but (I'm) keeping (an) eye on it," the woman texted 911 services, explaining that she was deaf, according to the screenshot.
"Thank you for texting," an official replied. "I have an officer on the way."
The responding officer located the parents, who said they had left a 15-year-old in charge of the children. No arrests were made, the department said.
Alpharetta's public safety department is the first adopter of Text-to-911 — a technological program that allows cell phone users to text messages to 911 in lieu of calling — in the metro Atlanta region.
The Text-to-911 is not available in most parts of the U.S. Authorities still advise people to contact 911 with a voice call, if possible.
This story has been updated.