DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Public transit users in the Dallas area will have another way to summon help.

On Friday, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) patrons can begin texting to reach police. Riders are advised to send a short text message, with the keyword “dartpolice,” to 41411.

DART officials on Thursday said the system is meant to assist customers who are hearing impaired or anyone witnessing a crime. No images or videos will be accepted. While there is no charge for the service, standard data and text messaging rates may apply.

DART earlier this year responded to a series of violent incidents by putting uniformed officers on trains.

An officer was present in February at a DART station in Richardson when a man allegedly started a shootout that left a bystander dead. The gunman was killed exchanging fire with officers.

DART officials say the new text messaging tool is not meant to replace emergency calls and also want to reassure riders that suspicious or criminal activity can still be reported to DART police by calling (214) 928-6300.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Also Check Out: