The 911 service is a life-saver for many Albertans but the Alberta RCMP say there are also far too many cases of pocket dials and callers hanging up before the operators are able to determine what their call is about.  

That’s why the RCMP is offering tips and advice to try to cut down on false and unnecessary 911 calls in the province.  

Every call to 911 requires a response to investigate and ensure the safety of callers.  Cutting down on false calls can help officers be sure that they only receive calls that are essential and needed.  

The RCMP offers these tips to prevent false calls and reduce the time needed to investigate them:

  • If you accidentally dial 911, do not hang up. Stay on the line and let the call taker know it was an accident. If you hang up, the call taker will need to call you back to determine why you called and confirm there is no emergency.
  • Don’t program 911 into your telephone—speed dials can lead to accidental calls.
  • Keep your cell phone locked or in a standby mode and in a safe location to prevent accidental or pocket dial calls.
  • Don’t allow children to play with the telephone or cell phone. It is not a toy.
  • Lock it before you pocket your device—to avoid unintentional calls to 911.
  • To assist investigators in helping you if you are in need of assistance, if you are using an application for cellular services, or a VOIP service, register your address and keep it updated. 

Examples of when a 911 call for police assistance should be made:

  • Your life or the life of another person is in danger
  • You are witnessing a crime in progress
  • You are in a collision and are injured
  • You suspect a motorist is impaired

If the matter is less urgent call the local RCMP if:  

  • You need to report a crime that has already occurred and there are no suspects or evidence
  • You were in a collision and were not injured and your vehicle is not obstructing traffic
  • You want to report suspicious persons or activities

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