COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Central Ohio residents with emergencies will soon have the option to text 911 instead of placing a call.

Local governments in Delaware and Franklin counties plan to test technology in the first three months of 2018 allowing the emergency texts.

Ramona Patts, Columbus Division of Support Services administrator, tells the Columbus Dispatch the technology will allow people to covertly send information to police.

The Columbus area joins a few other municipalities in Ohio with the technology, including Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties.

Officials say a call is still preferable but texting is an important option if someone is hiding during an emergency and it would be dangerous to be heard on the phone.