Local law enforcement wants to spread the word that you can now reach 9-1-1 via text message in Berkshire County and across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Sometimes being able to pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1 is just not an option when something is happening -- for whatever reason. The Pittsfield Police Department alerted the City of Pittsfield on Christmas Eve to let people know that this has gone into effect.

"Although calling 9-1-1 is always preferred, this service is crucial to deaf and hard of hearing citizens, and to those in situations where making a voice call is not possible," PPD officials said on Monday.

The Texting 9-1-1 system can only receive the texts themselves. That means, emojis. photos and videos will not go through currently. Also, it is important to note that this system will only work with cellular devices that have text and data plans.

Of course -- and this goes without saying -- the service should only be used in the case of an emergency, just like the voice call system.

The Pittsfield Police department added a photo graphic of frequently asked questions in relation to the new 9-1-1 texting system. You can find those FAQ's and answers right here. 

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