‘Text 911?’ You may be in for a long wait

The four major cell carriers have announced that they’ll begin routing emergency text messages to police 911 systems, which seems like a natural outgrowth of our preoccupation with SMS. This way, for example, you’ll be able to text 911 after you’ve caused an accident by texting while driving.

But almost every local jurisdiction operates its own 911 dispatch, meaning that each will have to decide whether to accept 911 texts. And in metro Atlanta, with a couple of notable exceptions, the local cops aren’t racing to embrace this breakthrough.

Gwinnett police say that, for one thing, there’s too much danger of “SWATTING,” prank calls (or texts) designed to scramble a massive police response, such as that by a SWAT team. Other metro jurisdictions say they’ll probably adopt 911 texting, but not anytime soon.

The exceptions are Paulding County, which already has 911 texting up and running, and one other major jurisdiction, which plans to activate the capability in a few months.

Subscribers may read the full story by staff writer Ernie Suggs at myajc.com.