(MINEOLA, N.Y.) – Nassau County residents can now text 911 in the event of an emergency, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D – Glen Cove) announced today.
Confirmation of the service’s availability was confirmed by Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder during a Tuesday, Oct. 10 Legislative budget hearing focused on the County’s public safety entities. With this activation, Nassau County joins New York State counties, including Suffolk, Ulster, Niagara, and Putnam Counties, where text-to-911 is available to the public.
“The launch of ‘text to 911’ service in Nassau County is a potentially life-saving game changer that will give our residents another discreet and easy way to contact Nassau police in the event of an emergency,” Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton said. “This advance is long overdue, and it is welcome news that I hope gives our residents peace of mind in these turbulent times. I thank Commissioner Ryder and his team for working so diligently to get this service up and running.”
The Rules committee voted on Monday, Aug. 7 to approve a $106,417 purchase order with the Intergraph Corporation for a custom interface text-to-911 interface. The vote followed Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton’s July 31 filing of legislation that would have mandated the implementation of text-to-911 in Nassau County in compliance with a May 2023 settlement in a case alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Experts stated that text-to-911 service are especially beneficial for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing; have limited English proficiency; or need to reach authorities discreetly, such as in an active shooter, hostage, or domestic violence crisis. Anyone who misuses text to 911 would be subject to the same penalties as those who misuse 911 by phone.