Law enforcement officials are in a constant race to keep up with technology — a quandary that was highlighted last week when a gunman stormed into a Michigan college building and killed a student before turning his shotgun on himself, reports the Detroit News. Students and faculty received text messages from co-workers, friends, and family that there was a gunman in the building. If the students had wanted to text police about it, they wouldn’t have been able to, because 911 systems are not set up to receive text messages.
“That’s something we’re working on now,” Wayne State University Police Chief Anthony Holt said. “We currently can’t receive text messages in our emergency dispatch center.” Holt added that he would like to have a system that would allow people to report emergencies via text message. Perusing sites like YouTube and MySpace also is imperative, Holt said. “There were some red flags with [the Michigan shooter] that he had posted on YouTube. It was the same kind of situation with Virginia Tech — lots of red flags were present, but how do police recognize these red flags online and try to prevent a tragedy?”