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Abuse of 911 is misdemeanor

Let’s explore the area of misuse and abuse of the 911 system. A lot of times people are calling us on the worst possible day of their lives; we want to let them know there are people here to get them the help needed. That’s what we’re here for.

Boulder City has two 911 lines, and it’s common that emergency services will be tied up helping a nonemergency situation when a real emergency, such as a major vehicle collision, occurs.

Nevada Revised Statutes state: “It is unlawful for any person knowingly or willfully to make or cause to be made (a) any telephonic access to a system; or (b) a nonemergency telephone call to report an emergency on any nonemergency telephone line maintained by a governmental entity if no actual or perceived emergency exists.”

Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. A common issue is callers who misjudge what constitutes a true emergency. Having your car broken into is not a life-threatening emergency. Such calls should be made to the nonemergency number 702-293-9224, ext. 1.

One of the worst times for inappropriate calls is during major events or functions. Heavy traffic is a prime example. Many drivers choose their cellphones to call 911 to find out the reason for the delay. In our center, public works incidents involving electricity, water, sewer or park-related issues can be all-consuming. There is a recording for updating traffic or electrical issues, but oftentimes there are neither the personnel nor phone lines available to make the recording.

Loss of electricity is not an emergency unless the residents rely on breathing or dialysis machinery. Residents should be aware of elderly or handicapped residents nearby and check on them during the outages. It is unusual that all areas of town are suffering an outage at the same time. Although inconvenient, it is advisable to relocate to a business to wait out the outage.

For the record: Your fridge or freezer is not at risk unless opened repeatedly or if the outage lasts several hours. The hot-water tank will not suffer damage unless drained of water during a water shutdown.

Calls that are typically not emergencies can make up roughly half of the calls a center gets daily. They are more than a nuisance to dispatchers at the center. That means resources are not readily available because they are tied up or at a location where they are not needed.

I will spend the next few weeks looking at this issue and exploring some alternatives


Sept. 26. Noise: The party is far from over, but the neighbors are over it at 12:47 a.m. in the 700 block of Fifth Street.

Assist: The caller wants to report other family members that are squatting with a grandparent at 5:17 p.m. in the 600 block of Mount Blackburn Lane.

Sept. 27. Animal: The caller said the rattlesnake is causing a bit of a disturbance at 2:10 p.m. in the 500 block of Lake Winnebago Lane.

Family disturbance: The subjects have been drinking and are sharing their likes and dislikes at 9:04 a.m. in the 500 block of Avenue I.

Sept. 28. Welfare: The subject is laying in the crosswalk and appears to be asleep at 8:46 a.m. in the area of Fir Street and Nevada Way.

Suspicious: The homeowner said the subject with the clipboard stated he was from a security company and wanted access into the residence at 6:21 p.m. in the 1700 block of Fleetwood Street.

Sept. 29. Disturbance: The aggressive subject is trying to fight everyone in the parking lot at 1:06 a.m. in the 700 block of Nevada Way.

Suspicious: The vehicle is swerving all over the road, driving with high beams, and knocking over cones at 9:36 p.m. in the area of Veterans Memorial Drive and Adams Boulevard.

Sept. 30. Disturbance: The drinking leads to yelling and then to one party packing their belongings at 4:46 a.m. in the 500 block of Avenue L.

Petty theft: It appears the rolling grocery cart sprouted wheels and went home with someone else at 4:21 p.m. in the 600 block of Avenue B.

Oct. 1. Suspicious: Several neighbors hear an elderly man yelling for help at 12:18 a.m. in the 200 block of Red Rock Road.

Accident: The driver tries to turn the office into a drive-thru at 7:58 a.m. in the 800 block of Adams Boulevard.

Oct. 2. Damage: The weekly demolition of the no-left-turn sign fronting the address is complete at 12:35 p.m. in the 1200 Boulder City Parkway.

Disturbance: The caller reports a woman causing a disturbance wearing only a towel at 6:17 p.m. in the 600 block of Christina Drive.

Call of the week: Animal: Callers are more than concerned about a K-9, with no water and is laying lifeless. Officers are responsive and assured the shirt laying on the ground is not in need of water and appears to have many years of life left in it at 2:10 p.m. Sept. 27 in the 900 block of Utah Street.

Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.

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