First responders juggle repeat 911 callers

First responders juggle repeat 911 callers

First responders juggle repeat 911 callers

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by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- 911 is supposed to be for emergencies, but some people don’t take it that seriously.

NBC Charlotte obtained a recording from a woman in Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department’s south division.

Caller: “I'm calling for help..”
911 Operator: “I've got help coming to you…”
Caller: “Excuse me,” said the caller.

This is not a typical 911 call.  The person on the other end of the line is well known to officers, because she makes a habit out of calling them.

Because of certain medical issues we are not identifying the caller.

Within the last year, first responders have received seven calls for service to the neighborhood.  The caller has contacted emergency service 51 times.

"Obviously it's an abnormally large number of calls for service," said Captain Jim Wilson who heads the south division.

The Department has a dilemma when it comes to frequent callers. Even if the call is bogus, police have no choice but to respond.

"Just because somebody calls an inordinate number of times don’t mean we can just dismiss them or discount them and say ‘no we can’t go out there’," said Captain Wilson.

Police will try and get someone mental or emotional help, but they can’t force the repeat callers to take advantage of the service.

As a last resort some frequent callers are arrested.

The south division caller has been arrested 4 times dating back to January of 2011 for misusing 911.

Wilson admits that police can’t take the chance than an emergency might be real. For that reason when the calls come in they must respond.


 

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