Kenosha County Joint Services just announced that cell phone users in the county will now be able to text 911. The new service will be beneficial to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. 

When using the service, officials ask that you include your location (full address if possible) as dispatch is not able to pinpoint your exact location, and the nature of your emergency.

There is no guarantee that your text message will be delivered as intended. If it was transmitted successfully, the sender should receive an automated return message confirming delivery. 

The new services does not replace calling the emergency number directly. Officials suggest that if possible, it is best to call and speak to a dispatcher. 

The new feature is one of the components of the 2017 upgrade of the software system. 

Cellphones from out-of-area carriers roaming in the county will not be guaranteed text-to-911 service here. Texting apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, are not able to connect with 911.

Kenosha is one of a few counties to enable the service in southeastern Wisconsin. Others include Waukesha and Rock counties. 

Tip for text-to-911 users

  • Don’t use abbreviation; use full words.
  • Don’t text and drive. 
  • If you are in a situation where talking on the phone would put you in danger, remember to silence your phone before texting 911.
  • Make sure to include your full address and municipality where you are located. 
  • Describe your emergency.