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Nye sheriff’s office: Deactivated cell phones can dial 911

Though it’s not uncommon for a parent to let their child play with their old cell phone as a toy once they buy a new cell phone for themselves, that act, according to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, is creating serious issues, even though the phone is disabled and out of service.

Nye County Sheriff’s Office Operations Sgt. Ann Horak in a video news release said in many cases, the disabled phone still has the ability to call 911.

In 2018 alone, sheriff’s office dispatchers received 4,192 false calls to 911, according to the release.

“Most of these calls were accidental, and many of those came from disabled cell phones,” Horak noted. “The sheriff’s office wants to remind parents that even deactivated cell phones are capable of calling 911. Many parents give their children old, deactivated phones, not knowing that they could still be used to dial 911.”

Horak also said parents should be more mindful of the situation if they allow their child to play with old cell phones, as mistaken calls to 911 cost the community thousands of extra dollars each year in wasted resources.

The issue is certainly not a local one.

In January of this year, KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah reported a similar episode where dispatchers there also received calls from deactivated cell phones.

The KUTV report also noted that the Federal Communications Commission, (FCC), requires that every cell phone be able to call 911, regardless of whether it is connected to a cell service provider.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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