Monday, January 13, 2014

Misuse and Abuse of 911

In the last week’s Louisville City Board of Aldermen meeting, Alderwoman Judy McLeod raised an issue of concern about 911 hangup and prank calls that were interfering with true emergency 911 services. Non-emergency and prank calls have always been a serious issue for 911 operators. In response, the Winston County/Louisville 911 Department has issued the following statement:

We at 911 have a large number of 911 hangup/prank calls. We have determined that this is partly due to small children playing with old phones that have been discarded and partly due to phones that have text ability only. Any phone, as long as it has a charge can dial 911. 911 call personnel cannot call these phones back to determine if it’s a real emergency, however.

We also have those calls that are not an emergency. We please ask that it be a true emergency when you dial 911. Do not dial 911 for:
  • ·         Information
  • ·         directory assistance
  • ·         when you are bored or just want to talk to someone
  • ·         for paying tickets
  • ·         for asking if someone has been arrested
  • ·         as a prank/hangup call, etc.

911 calltakers deal with these calls every day along with real emergency calls that could mean the difference in life and death. That emergency call could be for your loved one.

The call center has been going through some major upgrades and we are beginning to use the GPS coordinates of all calls. Under the circumstances do not be surprised if a police officer shows up at your door for misuse of 911.

If you dial 911 by mistake, do not hangup. Tell the calltaker what happened so they know that this really is an emergency. Thank you for your attention to this matter.