Cpl. Chris Newel
Kimberley RCMP were plagued with abandoned 911 calls this past weekend as over one-third of the calls for service were false 911 calls, which is time consuming and takes officers away from other duties.
Most calls are made inadvertently or are pocket dials. If a call is made the dispatcher will attempt contact to confirm what has taken place and what emergency service is required. If the dispatcher is unable to make contact either because there is no answer or subscriber information is not available it is assigned to an officer to follow up.
The officer initiates an investigation to locate the caller, which can time consuming. If it comes from a business or residence the officer will attend and speak to the occupants to confirm everyone is safe. As well, the police may search the building, again to ensure everyone’s safety.
If the call comes from a cell phone it becomes a little more complex as the location may not be known. Sometimes there is an alternate number police will phone in an attempt to track the caller down, which is again, very time consuming and can take hours to follow up.
To limit the accidental calls, please lock your phone. If you inadvertently dial 911, stay on the line and explain the mistake. If the dispatcher calls, answer so confirmation can be made you are safe.