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Man uses email to contact E-911

By Paula Walter
Eugene Campbell, Director of Johnson County’s E-911 emergency dispatch received a surprise email last Friday night requesting assistance from law enforcement. While waiting in a line at a local fast food restaurant after the football game, Campbell decided to check the department’s email on his cell phone.
Typically emails that are received are general questions sent on a contact form often relating to addresses in the county and have been in place for approximately a year. According to Campbell, the message stated “Please come to my house now because my girlfriend just hit me with a hammer and stole my cell phone.” This was the first time Campbell had received a request for emergency help via email as the system was not set up for that purpose. It was approximately 20 minutes from the time the message was sent until help arrived.
According to Campbell, the department is investigating the possibility of implementing a program where 911 dispatch would receive an alert when emails were received in order be able to act on any emergencies promptly. After Campbell radioed in the call for help to dispatch, the sheriff’s department arrested Deborah Heimiller for aggravated domestic assault.