Huron OPP Answer 1,000 Non Emergency 911 Calls

Huron County OPP are asking residents to stop pocket dials from their phones after 5% of calls to 911 in 2015 were not for emergencies.

Of the nearly 1,000 non emergency calls, 75% were pocket dials and accidental calls

The OPP say the remainder of the non emergency calls came from children playing, line transmission issues, or callers looking for information on roads or phone numbers.

A number of accidental calls to the provincial communication centre come from people trying to call overseas, check voicemail, or inadvertently touching the pre-programmed 911 button on their phone.

In one case, a woman’s cat stepped on the phone and dialed 911

The Bruce Peninsula OPP report 276 non-emergency 911 calls last year, with pocket dials and accidental dials as the main source.

Once the call is made, you should stay on the line to explain the situation. If you hang up, the operator will have to call back to ensure your safety, and police will be dispatched.

Police say stashing an insecure phone in a pocket or bag often results in the pocket dial, and sometimes forces police to track down the caller in a mobile vehicle.

“Pocket dials and accidental 911 dials continue to be an issue for emergency responders. Everyone needs to know that the misuse and abuse of the 911 system may result in a slower OPP response to a real emergency, risking the safety of people who may need urgent help. And furthermore, a significant amount of our valuable and limited resources are utilized every day responding to pocket dials and accidental 911 calls. With some additional education and awareness on this issue, we are hopeful to see a reduction in these ill placed calls,” says Huron County OPP Inspector Jason Younan.

To avoid pocket dialing:

  • Carry your cell phone in a holster.
  • Ensure sure the keypad is locked.
  • Don’t make 911 part of your pre-programmed auto-dialing.
  • Read your user’s manual and contact your cell phone provider to find out what options are available to “pocket dial proof” your phone.