A Lapaz woman successfully used technology to report an emergency situation to the sheriff’s department Monday evening. She sent a 911 text message to Marshall County Central Dispatch around 7:15 p.m. advising her boyfriend had battered her. She told the dispatchers he was still there, and she feared he would do worse.
County officials say the dispatchers were able to give her instructions, receive information to relay to officers officers and maintain contact with her until officers arrived. The suspect, Jacob White, was arrested on a domestic battery charge.
Text messaging allowed the woman to contact 911 for help without alerting her assailant. Marshall County Central Dispatch has been able to receive 911 texts for about a year. Dispatchers utilize the service daily but say this was one of the first text-to-911 messages involving a volatile situation. They credit the technology with keeping the woman safe.
Dispatchers say voice calls are still the best option but urge people who are in imminent danger and cannot call 911 to text if it is safe to do so. Do not text while driving, even if it is to contact 911.