You can get information about how to text 911 about an emergency.

You can also learn how to send files related to an emergency when calling 911.

Text-to-911 is a reliable and safe way to reach emergency services in New York City.

It is beneficial to people who are:

  • Deaf
  • Hearing impaired
  • Speech impaired
  • Not able to safely call 911

You should:

  • Only text 911, if you can't call 911
  • Never text and drive

Restrictions

Text-to-911 is free and works through short message service (SMS) with cellular carriers but requires a text or data plan.

Text-to-911 is also only available in English and Spanish in the five boroughs.

How to Text

To use Text-to-911 as efficiently as possible you should: 

  • Enter 911 in the “to” field without spaces or hyphens
  • Let the operator know if you are deaf
  • Text the reason for your emergency
  • Text your full address with borough and cross streets if available
  • Use complete words and sentences, not abbreviations
  • Not text 911 in a group chat or send photos, videos, GIFs, or emojis
  • Answer all of the operator’s questions. The operator will end the chat when appropriate.

When you call 911, you may send supporting files from a cell phone or computer to the NYPD's Real Time Crime Center.

Tell the 911 operator that you have files related to your emergency. The operator will alert the Real Time Crime Center. A detective from the Crime Center will call you back and tell you where to email the files.

Depending on the case, the Police department may share your images with the public, police officers on patrol, individual detectives, or other law enforcement agencies. Police may use the images to identify and locate suspects as quickly as possible. They may also use the images to help evaluate and respond to emergencies.

911 File Upload Questions or Problems

311 does not provide follow up for complaints about files submitted to 911.