Post Falls' text-a-crime saves woman's life - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Post Falls' text-a-crime saves woman's life

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Post Falls text-a-crime got its first real test Wendesday Post Falls text-a-crime got its first real test Wendesday
POST FALLS, Idaho -

After being adopted a little more than a year ago, text-a-crime got its first true test on Wednesday night. The program, says Post Falls Chief of Police Scott Haug, has been slow to start with the department often going days where they receive no texts at all.

"The program isn't set up to get rid of 911 but we do feel it is the next wave of reporting crimes," says Haug.

Wednesday night a text came into the Post Falls dispatch from a woman saying she was going to hurt herself. Communication Supervisor Laura Claffey says these types of calls aren't uncommon, roughly one a week. However, this is the first time one came through in a text message.

"That was the first high priority text-a-crime that we've had come in," says Claffey.

Claffey wasn't on duty when the text came in but says she would prefer to take these sort of calls over the phone rather than through a text message.

"When you're talking to someone on the phone, if they're crying you can calm them, or relate to them or have compassion," says Claffey. "On text-a-crime you can't read the inflection in their voice."

Haug says dispatchers text back and forth with the woman for an hour. She would not answer any direct questions, again something that would have been easier on the phone. But they were able to determine she was driving and in Coeur d'Alene. They were able to convince the woman to go to the Coeur d'Alene Police Department where officers drove her to the hospital for treatment.

"That's not exactly what text-a-crime is for, but we're very happy with the outcome," says Haug.

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