Toronto police have launched a new campaign in an effort to remind people — particularly kids — that 911 is only for emergencies.
Dispatchers often have to deal with curious youngsters who hear or learn about the service and decide to dial the important three digits for fun. A recording of a 911 call from a young boy is heard in the playful Toronto Police public service announcement (PSA), followed by a recording of an apologetic mother ensuring the dispatcher there’s no emergency.
If a child dials 911 in a non-emergency situation, parents and caregivers should call back to let the dispatcher know officers don’t need to be sent out.
Earlier this year, Toronto Police launched a campaign to highlight the issue of accidental 911 pocket dials from cellphones.
Last year, police answered approximately 107,000 pocket-dials and 116,000 misdials. The mistakes mean resources needed to save lives get tied up unnecessarily.
The campaign suggested people use the “lock” function on their phone’s keypad before putting it into their bag or pocket.