9-1-1 pocket dials and hang-ups continue to be an issue: Huntsville OPP

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A message from the Huntsville OPP

What do your pockets, purses and backpacks have in common? Perhaps their ability to call 911 without you knowing it. The 2019 March Break is coming to a close and Huntsville Ontario Provincial Police have experienced 25 hang-up calls in relation to “pocket dials” or hang up calls since March 7, 2019.

In some cases there is no voice contact when a 911 call is made. From the time the call comes in, it may take the Provincial Communications Centre 15 minutes to ascertain where the call is coming from before it is dispatched to the officers in that detachment area. This time takes away from someone who really needs 911 for real emergencies. The OPP is mandated to attend all 911 calls to ascertain if there is an emergency; the Provincial Communications Centre cannot ignore it, they must determine if there is an emergency before they can move on to the next call.

Huntsville OPP would like to remind residents to check with their cell phone provider on how to lock a phone so that it doesn’t dial 911 while in a pocket, purse or backpack. If the 911 operator calls you back, please respond with the location where you are at the time to allow for the police to attend and check on your well-being. Also, a reminder to parents that the cell phone is not a “babysitter”. Please do not allow your child to play with the cell phone; the possibility of them inadvertently dialling 911 is greater. Even if your phone has been deactivated, it still has the ability to call 911 if it is turned on.

Huntsville OPP would like to thank the public for their co-operation in this matter.

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