Misuse and abuse of the 911 system is divided into two categories: unintentional and intentional.
Unintentional calls occur when a person or phone inadvertently dials 911 through phantom wireless calls, misdials and hang-up calls. Most wireless users are unaware their phones are preprogrammed to dial 911, and most retail providers do not inform purchasers their phones are susceptible to unintentional 911 dialing.
Redialing or resending can occur if, after completing a 911 call, a wireless caller accidentally presses or bumps the “redial” or “send” key. Please note that landline users might also accidentally redial 911 this way.
Random dialing can be automatic as some older wireless phones dial 911 when the phone’s batteries are low.
Another reality is as close as the drawer full of outdated phones. Officials urge parents to teach children not to play with disconnected phones, except those with batteries removed. Several hundred calls are received monthly and are a waste of time and resources to go out and try to track these numbers down.
The Federal Communications Commission requires that every cellphone be able to call 911, so education on the issue is key. Either don’t let children play with these phones or, if you do, make sure the batteries are removed from them.
Misuse of this emergency reporting system is a gross misdemeanor, and defendants charged with it might have either a jury trial, 364 days in jail and $2,000 in fines.
This issue might seem trivial until your call for lifesaving instructions is shunted to a nearby jurisdiction because the lines are full of people asking for directions or reporting a power outage. Keep 911 for use for real emergencies.
Oct. 3. Family disturbance: The caller says they are out of town and someone called about the garage door being partially open at 7:05 p.m. in the 1000 block of Keys Drive.
Suspicious: The homeowner advises a family member has arrived, while they are away, and now there is a vehicle missing at 9:26 p.m. in the 300 block of Sioux Court.
Thought for the day: It sounds like a good week to just stay home.
Oct. 4. Shots: Several callers report hearing shots and now see a subject holding a pistol nearby at 7:29 a.m. in the 500 block of Arizona Street.
Assault: The discussion gets physical, and the business owner is not amused at 4:49 p.m. in the 1000 block of Nevada Way.
Thought for the day: Target practice is best conducted at the range and when alcohol is not involved — especially at 7:30 a.m.
Oct. 5. Assist: The caller says the sprinklers aren’t working correctly with the trash can lids over them at 7:51 a.m.
DUI: The Saturday drinking club will be missing one member tonight because of starting a little too early at 5:39 p.m. in the area of Nevada Way and Birch Street.
Thought for the day: The early bird (in this case) gets the cuffs.
Oct. 6. Battery: The disagreement stems from substance abuse and develops into a showdown, and one party is off to the “big house” at 9:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of Esther Drive.
Assist a citizen: The elderly couple are distraught when the car is not parked where they think they parked it at 3:13 p.m. in the 600 block of Avenue A.
Thought for the day: The weary shoppers are appreciative of officers’ help in locating their vehicle.
Oct. 7. Vagrant: The owner returns after avoiding the crowds for the weekend to find two people have begun to set up house in the shed behind his home at 10:25 a.m. in the 700 block of Elm Street.
Vagrant: The caller says a large group of residentially challenged individuals are living behind a local business at 10:31 a.m. in the area of 1 Cascata Drive.
Thought for the day: The shed residents were set up with shelves, dressers and all of the comforts of home.
Oct. 8. Assist other department: Traffic is all a-snarl when a trash truck succumbs to the fire gods at 8:33 a.m. in the area of Industrial and Wells Roads.
Family disturbance: The caller says a man has a woman backed up against her vehicle and appears to be screaming in her face at 8:33 a.m. in the area of mile marker 9 on Interstate 11.
Thought for the day: The amorous ex says that he was just trying to negotiate a hug, but it wasn’t going well.
Oct. 9. Trespass: The residentially challenged individual decides a stored boat is a great place for home base at 12:26 a.m. in the 800 block of Robinson Lane.
Suspicious: An elderly resident reports someone singing outside the bedroom window about trying to harm her at 9:46 p.m. in the 800 block of Avenue A.
Thought for the day: The cameras will catch any misdeeds, and we are reminded to keep consistent contact with elderly family members.
Call of the week: Public assist: The officer is called to a report of a person running into traffic, and he is forced to go hands on in an effort to save the woman from being hit by traffic. Both exit the area relatively unscathed at 8:26 a.m. Oct. 7 in the area of U.S. Highway 95 and Interstate 11.
Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.