Did you know that Turner Valley R.C.M.P. responded to 359 False or Abandoned 911 calls last year? That means our detachment alone received almost one such call each day, seven days a week.
The calls seem to be the result of either cell phone pocket dials or young people playing with phones.
911 calls are a priority call and in an area as extensive as ours, this can put a harsh strain on resources. Calls made from a cell phone that may be accidental are usually time consuming when the caller hangs up.
Police get the location of each 911 call, at which point officers patrol the area where the call originated.
With the public’s help we can reduce 911 misuse and ensure that people with real emergencies get the required assistance.
There are several things residents should know about the use and misuse of the 911 service:
- Every time 911 is misused it takes operators away from assisting people with real emergencies.
- 911 is for emergencies. The RCMP and other Police agencies have phone lines for non-emergencies such as noise complaints, parking complaints, and incidents that took place hours or days earlier.
- Extra care should be taken with cell phones. Most modern cell phones have a one button touch requirement to make an emergency call. Keyboard locks and phone holsters can help cut down on accident emergency calls.
- Older cell phones should not be used as toys for children. Without even being active, these cell phones, if charged, can still be used to call 911.
- You should never program 911 into phones; it does not take long to dial 911.
- If you accidentally dial 911, please stay on the phone. Tell the operator it was an accident and provide all of the appropriate information to the 911 operator.
- When you dial 911, providing the appropriate information will ensure that an officer sees you in a timely manner that is safe for everyone.
The R.C.M.P. provided the High Country Rural Crime Watch Association with this message, and we heartily agree with it. We would like members to circulate this message to others so that next year we will see a substantial reduction in the number of false or abandoned 911 calls. – JR (John Robin Allen)
(High Country Rural Crime Watch Association)