Oakland Police Department kicks off Text-to-911

Posted: December 30th, 2020 2:06 PM

Last Updated: December 30th, 2020 2:13 PM


News from: Oakland Police Department


December 30, 2020

Oakland Police Department kicks off Text-to-911

Oakland, CA. – The Oakland Police Department is pleased to announce, that our community members can now use Text-to-911. Starting, December 31, 2020, Text-to-911 will be an additional safe and reliable resource for residents to contact the Oakland Police Department in an emergency.

You should always call 911 if you can and text 911 only if you can’t. Text-to-911 allows mobile users to send a text message to reach 911 emergency Dispatchers in situations where it is not safe to place a voice call.

Text-to-911 is free, works through short message service (SMS) with cellular carriers, and requires a text or data plan. Text-to-911 is beneficial to the deaf, hard of hearing, and speech disabled, people with language and speech disorders, and those who can't safely call 911.

Text-to-911 is not available in all jurisdictions. If you attempt to send a text to 911 where the service is not yet available, you may receive an automatic "bounce-back" message that will advise you to contact emergency services by another means.

To use Text-to-911 as efficiently as possible:

  • Enter 911 without spaces or hyphens.
  • Text the reason for your emergency.
  • Text your full address and cross streets, if available.
  • Use complete words and sentences, not abbreviations.
  • Photos, emoticons, videos, and multiple recipients are not supported.
  • Answer all the operator’s questions. The operator will end the chat.

The FCC has created a Text to 911: What you need to know page.


#OPDCARES initiative is about working together as a community to help stop the tragic loss of life and reduce the level of violence in our city. Collectively, we want to ensure Oaklanders and our visitors are safe in our community.