MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A statewide service allowing Minnesotans to send a text message to 911 during an emergency is up and running.

State officials say "Text-to-911" will be especially beneficial for people who are deaf or unable to speak. And it will allow victims who may not be able to talk while a crime is being committed a way to contact authorities.

To use the service, a person would type 911 in the number field and then type the nature of the emergency and a location in the body of the text message. Dispatchers at all of the state's 104 emergency dispatch centers have been trained on the texting technology.

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