You can now text 911 for emergency help in parts of Marin County

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- Several police departments in the North Bay are rolling out a new program that allows people to text 911 to report an emergency.

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San Rafael Police Department in conjunction with the Fairfax Police Department and Novato Police Department made the announcement Wednesday.

The Marin County Sheriff's Office is expected to begin accepting text-to-911 calls in June 2019.

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CHP - Marin also accepts text-to-911.

Officials say calling 911 is still the fastest way to get help, but there are times where a text could be a life-saving alternative, including during home invasions or instances of domestic violence or abuse.

"It is important to note that text-to-911 should only be used in an emergency situation when placing a call is not possible. For example, if the caller is deaf, hard-of hearing, speech impaired, or if speaking out loud would put the caller in danger," said San Rafael Police Department in a Facebook post.

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Police say when texting 911 it's important to include your location and the type of emergency, "do not use slang, abbreviations or emojis."

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