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Old 03-13-2011, 03:48 PM   #2
DavidK's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NZ and Huntington Beach
Posts: 2,719
Default Re: How do police handle 911 nuisance calls?

Originally Posted by snoozn View Post
I tried to google this, but could only find examples of nuisance calls ("My McNuggets are cold!"). A few articles did mention that people could be prosecuted, but I'm wondering if 911 operators handle calls any differently from someone who is a known nuisance caller. My suspicion is that they don't, due to liability issues. But it would be useful to my story if the operator could at least tell the caller that he is on a list and imply that his call may not be acted on immediately.
It varies somewhat but those sorts of calls are common. The operator sees different information about the call depending what state or area you're in. One-off nuisance calls are often just reminded politely that they have wrongly called 911. Repeat nuisance callers can be prosecuted and in some jurisdictions their phone account can be suspended. Nuisance callers are not usually recorded on a list, but the originating phone number is 'flagged' so that it shows with a reference to repeat nuisance calls whenever a call originates from that number. Depending on the size of the call center, some are referred to a supervisor who will advise the caller that action might be taken if the calls continue. It also depends on what sort of assistance the caller is requesting. In some jurisdictions, for example, the fire department is obliged to attend all fire calls even if they suspect the call is fake and in many departments the fire response is automated by computer - the 911 operator enters details into the system and the dispatch computer initiates an automated response, so there is little or no human discretion (= error) in some instances. But in a nutshell, one-off nuisance callers are often politely educated, and repeat nuisance callers are usually warned of action that might be taken.
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