More calls for emergency response systems to receive text messages after Orlando mass shooting

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 17:23:55-04

NEW YORK - There's a renewed push for 911 systems capable of receiving and sending text messages with pictures and video.  It comes in the wake of the deadly Orlando night club shooting on June 12.  While many victims hid from the gunman, they sent text messages to loved ones asking them to call police, afraid that making a call would draw attention to themselves.  Orlando is one of several major cities that don't have 911 text systems.

The FCC says only 656 dispatch centers in the U.S. can accept text messages.  Many cities are set up to receive text messages, but try to reserve that service for the deaf community.

Dispatchers prefer calls because they can get details faster and texts could slow down response times.