Pocket dials pose problems

I would like to take a minute to talk to you about one of our favorite topics in dispatch: pocket dials.

Most cellphones are “equipped” with a special key, one that you can press for an extended time and it will automatically dial for help. Two major problems with this benefit: It’s the only button that will get pushed while in your back pocket and — you guessed it — is the only button you are not told about. Consider yourself told.

What button it is? It’s different for every manufacturer. Let’s consider it a huge game of “Where’s Waldo?”

For goodness sake do not hang up. Our equipment is not nearly as wonderful as the press would have you believe and we can locate you “somewhere” within a specific area, which is perfect if you’re standing in a vacant field and not so perfect if you are in a crowded store. Let us know that it was an accidental dial and you will move the phone to a different location.

The Federal Communications Commission recommends turning off the 911 autodial feature. Android phones can install an app, Call Confirm, which will ask for a confirmation prior to sending any call. Apple uses AskToCall, which works much the same way.

I will end with a loud thank-you for all the needless return calls, officer responses and computer time involved with each of these calls.

May 5. Vehicle burglary: The caller wants to make a report that his registration and insurance card are missing and someone must have a key. The real culprit, however, is his doctor, who gave him the wrong pills at 2:44 p.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.

Juvenile disturbance: The caller states that there are three juveniles pulling up hot tar from the roadway at 5:31 p.m. in the area of New Mexico Street and Avenue D.

Thought for the day: I’m not sure how bored you would have to be to resort to stealing road tar, but it’s time they found a job.

May 6. Animal: The animal control officer leaps into action when the baby ducks are stuck under a manhole cover at 7:08 a.m. in the area of Buchanan and Adams boulevards.

Bomb threat: An off-hand comment becomes a full-fledged evacuation and visit from the feds at 1:15 p.m. in the 900 block of Nevada Way.

Thought for the day: Think before you let uncensored comments come out of your mouth unless you want to be on the “watch” list.

May 7. Traffic: The visitors from Korea are surprised when they are questioned about driving on the sidewalk and stopping in the entrance way to a business at 8:39 a.m. in the 1500 block of Nevada Highway.

Threats: Kids are throwing rocks that inadvertently went down the bank and onto a trail and the pedestrian is sure they were trying to hit him at 5:14 p.m. on the River Mountains Loop Trail.

Thought for the day: Driving on the sidewalk and looking at a map are sure ways to meet a local cop.

May 8. Suspicious: The caller states that he saw a gray Toyota pull up to his mailbox, the driver remove a key, and start to drive away. After he yelled and started chasing them they dropped the key and sped away at 8:40 a.m. in the 500 block of Jani Place.

Welfare check: The elderly man is well-dressed and walking along the roadway pulling a suitcase but assures officers he is A-OK and just walking across America to raise awareness for homelessness at 10:06 a.m. in the area of U.S. Highway 93 and U.S. Highway 95.

Thought for the day: The Toyota had a luggage rack with a box covered with a blue tarp on top. Keep an eye out for it.

May, 9. Missing person: The report comes in of a possible missing person and she is quickly located and returned home to her frantic family at 4:43 p.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.

Alarm: The alarm company requests a response but the man in the bathrobe insists it’s all a mistake at 7:40 p.m. in the 700 block of Aztec Place.

Thought for the day: The rumor mill is something else. We received calls requesting information on the kidnapping and abduction. Bad guys don’t have a chance.

May 10. Attempt to locate: The officer advises that a subject became angry on the roadway and threw coins and a drink bottle at them at 7:28 a.m. near Veterans Memorial Drive and U.S. Highway 93.

See person: The caller wants to report that he believes someone got into his house, dropped a ski mask and planted a snake camera while planning a burglary where they stole some items and left some different items at 1:37 p.m. in the 1200 block of Potosi Street.

Thought for the day: Sometimes there’s just no describing the lasting effects of narcotics.

May 11. Abandoned vehicle: The caller states there is a junk motor home abandoned and it is towed away at 2:29 p.m. in the 1400 block of Nevada Highway.

Civil: The child exchange becomes heated with threats and officers suggest a temporary protective order and new exchange location at 7:13 p.m. in the 700 block of Capri Drive.

Thought for the day: Many child exchanges happen at the police department just for good behavior reasons.

Call of the week: Robbery: Shaken up clerk calls stating that she and another employee were robbed at gunpoint of money and merchandise. The two were then ushered to the back room where they were duct-taped. An unsuspecting customer arrives as the bad guys are leaving and gets a good look at them and the vehicle they were getting into on May 9 at 7:40 p.m. in the 800 block of Buchanan Boulevard.

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

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