To date, Aylmer police officers responded to 150 false 911 calls for service which has exceed the previous entire year high of 105 calls for service.
Further, in each of the months thus far, we have exceeded the previous three years’ monthly calls with March, May, July, August and September being exceptionally high.
If this trend continues, the number of calls will exceed 200 in 2019, nearly double the calls we received in 2018. Each call requires two officers to respond for safety reasons. Further, each 911 response is classified as a high priority call meaning officers are taken away from potentially other priority calls while responding to an accidental dial. Some of the 911 calls Aylmer Police Service received include, children playing with phones, adults checking to see if the 911 feature on their phone is working and pocket dials.
Here are some tips that will assist in prevention of 911 misdials:
- Protect your cellphone by locking and storing it carefully.
- Keep it in a safe position when not in use and use a case or holster to protect it.
- Use your cellphone’s key lock to help prevent accidental calls.
- Don’t program 9-1-1 into any telephone — speed dials cause accidental 9-1-1 calls.
- If you’ve recently called 9-1-1, delete the call from your cellphone’s call history to help prevent an accidental call in the future.
- Do not test 9-1-1 to see if it’s working.
- Teach children to use 9-1-1 properly and remind them it is not a toy. Always keep cordless phones fully charged and in the same place in the home. Keep your address information near the phone and show your children and caregivers where it is. Never give old cellphones to children to use as toys—many de-commissioned phones can still dial 9-1-1.
Cost of false 911 to the taxpayers:
“Each false 911 response results in approximately one hour of offer time to respond and investigate. To date, this translates into approximately $6776.00 impact on our policing budget.” More importantly, they tie up emergency services and phone lines where someone with a real emergency may not be able to receive assistance. We are asking the public to ask their cell phone service provider to educate and program their phones to prevent accidental dials.” Comments Chief Horvat.