With texting for many now second nature, law enforcement negotiators say they're increasingly being called upon to defuse violent, unpredictable situations through the typed word.
Experts say it's happened enough in the last five years to warrant new specialized training.
Outside Buffalo, New York, in March, a suspect who'd shot at Erie County Sheriff's deputies was carrying on text exchanges with several relatives when negotiators got involved. Eventually, they persuaded him to surrender.
Officials say 18 people are being rounded up in New York City on allegations they sold "party packs" of cocaine and sex to high-end clients and texted them to advertise ahead of this week's Super Bowl festivities.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office says the arrests follow an 11-month investigation by state and city authorities. The suspects are being arrested and brought to a Manhattan police precinct for arraignment Thursday morning.
Don't Text and Drive - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was underlining that mandate in an appearance this morning at a Thruway rest area, as Thruway authorities plan to ramp up penalties for distracted driving.
Despite a beefed-up public awareness campaign and new laws combating distracted driving, New York State Troopers issued 21,500 tickets issued over the summer, compared to 5,000 last year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the start of a new summer crackdown by the New York State Police on distracted driving. The up to $1 million effort will consist of increased enforcement and patrols, particularly through undercover operations using unmarked State Police SUVs to catch distracted drivers.