News Releases are to be used for informational purposes only. Information provided should not be relied upon for any type of legal action.

Hillsborough County launches new Text-to-911 program

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 21-125



Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Hillsborough County launches new Text-to-911 program

Hillsborough County residents now have another way to get help during an emergency. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with Hillsborough County, will launch the Text-to-911 system.

This new program allows county residents to text a 911 dispatcher if they are unable to call. Text-to-911 is not meant to replace traditional 911 calls. The program is designed to help those who are deaf or hard of hearing, those with a speech disability, those who are in a situation where a traditional call is too dangerous, or if you do not have phone reception.

"We want to be proactive in helping our residents feel safe and prepared for an emergency," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "An emergency can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, so our goal is to give the community just one more way to get help during a crisis."
“Response times are critical during emergencies,” said Hillsborough County Fire Chief Dennis Jones. “Text-to-911 is an invaluable tool both for people who are hurt or in peril, and for the workers on the front lines who come to their aid.”
Residents can send an emergency text, by texting 911. Dispatchers will reply and ask for more information. It's important to reply to the dispatcher's texts as quickly as possible. Dispatchers can not receive group texts, images, videos, or emojis.

You can view a Public Service Announcement (PSA) about the Text-to-911 system here.