Huntsville OPP frustrated by 25 March break ‘pocket dials’ this week

HUNTSVILLE Expect a call from police if you “pocket dial” 911.

Police say they spend about 15 minutes each tracking down phantom police calls to see if they are real emergencies before contacting the detachment officers. That’s about 1,545 minutes of lost police time in Huntsville.

Provincial police at Huntsville say they have been frustrated this March break by the number of mistaken emergency calls — or so they suspect.

This week the OPP and their call centre experienced 25 hang-up calls in relation to the pocket dials — or hang-up calls — since March 7, Const. Jeff Handsor, community safety officer/school resource officer says in a release Friday.

In some cases there was no voice contact when a 911 call was made.

And it may take a 911 call to the Provincial Communications Centre, in Orillia, 15 minutes for them to ascertain where the call is coming from until the time it is dispatched to the officers in that detachment area.

Police say if we averaged that out, it is over 1,545 minutes being wasted by 911 operators in locating the possible emergency, in the Huntsville area alone.

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, and 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 residences 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 a location 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.