By John McDevitt

LINDENWOLD, N.J. (CBS) – Officials announced Friday that Camden County, NJ has approved the purchase of a next-generation 911 system that allows people to “call” 911 via text message.

“It is important for the county to utilize current technology to insure the safety of our residents,” freeholder Scot McCray said. “It is still most beneficial to call 911 so that our trained call takers can obtain important information quickly, but in certain circumstance this is a valuable alternative to using the phone.”

People who text 911 will receive followup messages from the County Communications Center, say officials.

The system will also come with all new hardware and servers, and give calltakers the exact address of where the call originated, officials say.

“It is a priority to keep our systems current and provide the latest upgrades,” McCray said.  “The safety of our residents come first, and we want to give them and our first responders the tools they need the report emergency situations.”

The system is expected to be working in July.

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