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Volusia County makes first arrest with text-to-911 system

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A man was arrested after a victim in the case used the new text-to-911 service, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that this is the first arrest in the county using the text system.

The service that allows for people to text dispatchers instead of calling became available in Volusia County last September.

In the report, law enforcement officials wrote that the victim was being physically attacked by her boyfriend. Not wanting the suspect to hear her, the victim sent a text message to 911.

"This was a perfect, textbook example of when you should use this," Chitwood said. "You can't make a phone call because your safety will be in danger and (you) send that text message. Domestic violence is the perfect opportunity to use that and in this case, the young lady did just that."

Officers arrested Javon Montgomery, 30. He is now accused of battery.

Chitwood also wanted to remind members of the public that any time you are able to call dispatchers, do that first. He said that texting dispatchers is only to be done when you need to be silent in a situation, adding it's still ideal for someone to make a follow-up phone call after sending a text.

"'Domestic violence, 1234 Main Street, (I) need help now, my life's in danger.' Boom -- you hit send, the units are rolling and then if you get an opportunity to call 911, we will get more information as we are showing up," Chitwood said.

Chitwood pointed out that it's important to silence your phone prior to texting dispatchers, in order to prevent the sound notification from going off when they respond.

"The beauty of this thing is, you could be in an area with poor reception (and) send a text message because a text message may go through," he said.

In Central Florida, the text-to-911 service is available in Brevard, Seminole, Orange, Osceola and Volusia counties.


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