April 5, 2012

DART adds text to police capabilities

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) customers will be able to connect to DART Police via text message.

The newest tool by DART Police is not meant to replace emergency calls, but instead assist crime fighting by adding an option for transit customers that are hearing impaired, do not wish to make a phone call if they see a crime or something else that makes them uncomfortable while on DART, according to the agency. It is also expected texting will prove popular with customers who simply prefer texting over talking, such as teens and young adults.

The text number, 41411, is the same one used by DART customers to find the next departure and arrival times for buses and trains at their stop or station. The only difference with the police text service is customers must start the message with the keyword “dartpolice” to make sure it is delivered to a DART Police dispatcher. The dispatcher will read it, gather more information and, if needed, send an officer.

No images or videos will be accepted and there is no charge for this new service, but standard data and text messaging rates may apply.

DART hopes this new crime reporting tool will help provide more leads as well as direct emergency services in a more timely fashion to where they are needed most, according to officials.

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