Suffolk County launches new 911-texting system

LONG ISLAND — Officials are expected to announce the launch of a new text-to-911 system in Suffolk County.

The new "Text-to-911" system will give residents the ability to send a text message to 911 from their smartphones during emergency situations where it is unsafe or they cannot place a voice call.

The program will ensure those with hearing and speech impairments will be able to communication during emergency situations, including mass shootings or a catastrophe when a phone call could place someone in danger.

The Suffolk County police department will be the first major police department in the greater New York City area to utilize this technology.