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Durham police launch automated text for disconnected 9-1-1 calls

Durham Regional Police have launched a new automated text to any cell phone subscriber that accidentally dials 9-1-1.

Durham police say each year, the DRPS Communications/9-1-1 receives thousands of calls that disconnect before any voice contact is made. Some of the reasons for these calls range from cell phone emergency call functions being activated by the inadvertent pressing of certain keys (pocket dials) to children playing with a cell phone.

Police say the follow-up required for these disconnected calls takes “valuable time away from communicators who should be responding to actual emergencies.”

As a result, a new automated one-way SMS (text) message will be sent to any cell phone in Durham Region that has dialed 9-1-1 and disconnected.

If someone receives the message to their cell phone, they could expect a call from a 9-1-1 operator to confirm the call was accidental and that there is no need of assistance. However, if emergency assistance is required, do not reply to the text message – dial 9-1-1.