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AMHERST, Ohio– The Amherst Police Department now accepts texts from people right into their dispatch center.

“In checking with all the other police chiefs in the state of Ohio, I have not found another department that is doing what we are doing here,” said Chief Joseph Kucirek.

It’s certainly a first in Lorain County.

Starting Monday, people can text a phone number, 440-988-4422, and it goes right to the dispatch center.

“Dispatchers can see the text message on their computer screen and can reply right away,” added Chief Kucirek.

Police hope it gives people another way to contact them with minor concerns or complaints.

They also hope texting will reach a broader range of people, who might not normally come forward and issue a complaint.

“Anonymously, it allows someone to send something in, like neighborhood watch,” said Castheria Lauderdale, a resident.

Police are hoping residents embrace the plan, especially students who could text them tips from school.

“We hope that parents teach the kids, here’s a phone number you can text to the police department if you can’t talk to them,” added Chief Kucirek.