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May 27, 2015

Camden County amends 911 plan to include texting

An amendment to Camden County's 911 plan will allow people to contact 911 via text message, the Courier-Post reports.

Freeholders voted on Thursday to advance the county's plan to allow the future use of texting after the county acquired a $700,000 upgrade for its 911 system.

"Text-to-911 was a really important feature to us," Rob Blaker, the county's public safety director, told the Courier-Post. "People are already on their cellphones anyway."

The program, expected to begin in a test mode within a few months, will not go public until year-end, however. That's when New Jersey officials are expected to announce a statewide system based on Camden County's model, a county official said Tuesday.

About 90 percent of the county's 911 calls currently come from wireless phones, according to Blaker. He added that texts will be filtered into a computer system already being used by 130 dispatchers.

Camden will be the first in the state to offer the service. 

Read more from the Courier-Post.