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