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January 24, 2012 > Police ask for assistance to avoid false 9-1-1 calls

Police ask for assistance to avoid false 9-1-1 calls

Submitted By Officer Mark Doyle, Milpitas PD

The Milpitas Police Department requests the public's assistance in reducing the occurrence of false 9-1-1 calls. Unintentional and accidental 9-1-1 calls frequently tie up 9-1-1 dispatchers for several minutes and may delay response to real emergencies. For that reason, please be mindful of the following to prevent a false call from your own phone:

Lock your cell phone keypad before placing it in your pocket or purse to avoid any "pocket dialing". Emergency dispatchers are required to monitor your call for several minutes to discriminate between muffled voices with sounds of struggle and an unintentional dialing of a phone as it bounces around in your pocket or purse.

Keep inactive phones away from young children. If old phones are recycled as toys for children, first remove the battery. 9-1-1 calls may be completed even without active account service.

Educate your children on when to call 9-1-1. Explain to them the problems created when calling 9-1-1 mischievously or in jest.

Dial numbers carefully. Especially when you are required to first dial "9" to reach an outside line at work, calling area codes beginning with a "9-1-_" area code, or making an international call beginning with the prefix of "0-1-1", fast dialing or an errant key strike can easily result in an unintentional 9-1-1 call.

Don't hang up. If you accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the line, explain what has happened, and reassure the dispatcher that all is well where you are. Otherwise, valuable time is required to try to locate where the call came from, emergency resources and personnel will respond to your location, and emergency services may be delayed in responding to actual emergencies.

As a reminder, 9-1-1 is for the reporting of crimes in progress, medical emergencies, accidents, and fires. In the event of a true emergency, be prepared to provide the nature of the emergency, where it is occurring, the number of the phone you are calling from, and answers to specific questions asked by the dispatcher. Please do not hang up until you are asked to do so. You are the only eyes and ears at the scene and your feedback is invaluable.

For more information on the services of the Milpitas Police Department, please visit our website at

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