Text 9-1-1

Call if you can, text if you can't

In December of 2015, Beaumont Police Department in conjunction with several other San Bernardino and Riverside County agencies introduced Text to 9-1-1. "Call if you can, text if you can't".

Below are the FCC Guidelines on how to contact 9-1-1. If you use a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency:


  1. If you can, always contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call, "Call if you can - text if you can't"
  2. If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech disabled, and Text-to-9-1-1 is not available, use a TTY or telecommunications relay service, if available.
  3. If it is an emergency and you need to use this feature dial 911 into your device's messaging service, type your message and send.
  4. If you text 9-1-1 and text is not available in your area, you will receive a bounce back message advising "text is not available please make a voice call to 9-1-1."
  5. Location accuracy varies by carrier and should not be relied upon. Be prepared to give your location.
  6. Text-to-9-1-1 service will not be available if the wireless carrier cannot ascertain a location of the device sending the message.
  7. Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
  8. A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.
  9. Photos and video cannot be sent to 9-1-1. They cannot be received at the 9-1-1 center at this time.
  10. Text messages should be sent in plain language and not contain popular abbreviations (SMH, LOL, ICYMI) or emojis, which will not be recognized.
  11. Text-to-9-1-1 cannot be sent to more then one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other then 9-1-1.
  12. Texts must be in English only. There currently is no language interpretation for text available. This is still in development.

The following is a list of law enforcement and fire agencies that are currently equipped to receive Text-to-9-1-1 for San Bernardino County:

Barstow Police Department
Chino Police Department
California Highway Patrol - Barstow
California Highway Patrol - Inland Empire
Colton Police Department
Confire Communication Center (San Bernardino County Fire Department, Apple Valley, Big Bear, Colton, Loma Linda, Montclair, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Running Springs, Twenty-nine Palms, and Upland Fire Departments)
Cal State University San Benardino Police Department
Fontana Police Department
Montclair Police Department
Ontario Police Department
Redlands Police Department
San Bernardino Police/Fire Department
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Valley Control Center/dispatch
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Desert Control Center/dispatch
Upland Police Deparment

The following is a list of law enforcement agencies who are currently equipped to receive Text-to-9-1-1 for Riverside County:

Banning Police Department
Beaumont Police Department
Cathedral City Police and Fire Department
Desert Hot Springs Police Department
Palm Springs Police Department

Click here to learn more about this program.