MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- The Middleton Police Department is now receiving and responding to text messages to its non-emergency phone number.
Residents and visitors of Middleton can now call or text the department at the same number the department has had for years at 608-824-7300. The text service also enables better access to non-emergency services for citizens who are speech or hearing impaired.
"We're excited to announce that we are now able to receive and respond to text messages sent to our non-emergency phone number," Police Chief Brad Keil said. "Our department is constantly striving to enhance communication with the public and make police services more accessible to everyone in the City of Middleton and based on citizens initial response to this new service that's exactly what we're seeing."
The Middleton Police Department does say the new service does come with an important note of caution though.
"It's important to remember that texting while driving in Wisconsin is unsafe and illegal, and that this new text service is for non-emergency calls for service or questions only," Chief Keil said. "In an emergency, residents should continue to make voice calls to 9-1-1. There is a nationwide effort being led by the Federal Communications Commission and other entities that may soon allow people to text 9-1-1, but that service is not currently available in our community."
The new service is thanks to a partnership with Zipwhip, the world's first text carrier.
"We're pleased the Middleton Police Department selected Zipwhip to enhance the communications services it provides to citizens in its community," John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip, said. "Other non-emergency texting services require people to use unfamiliar and cumbersome short-code numbers. We believe our cloud-based texting application allows police personnel to connect and engage with residents, visitors and fellow staff members more easily and more frequently, leading to a safer, better protected community."
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