Old cell phones are causing big problems for police due to children playing with them and unwittingly calling for assistance in the process. The problem is caused because neither children nor in many cases the parents are aware that disconnected old cell phones still have the ability to call 911. In some cases with some kinds of old cell phones, 911 can be called just by one button being held down. Dispatchers claim that they are receiving up to 100 calls every day that turn out to be the result of children pushing buttons on disconnected cell phones. On Thursday morning alone, 12 such calls had been received by dispatchers who work for the North Las Vegas Police.
“This can be very dangerous because dispatchers put in the diligence of staying on the line long enough to determine whether there’s an actual emergency,” says Chrissie Coon from the North Las Vegas Police Department. “So if they’re on the phone with a child, trying to find out if there’s an actual emergency, someone else is on hold.” Coon says that parents should be aware that all cell phones can call 911 even after the service has been turned off, a feature that is installed as a safety precaution in order to ensure that anyone can call for help at any time. Coon adds that old cell phones should not be regarded as a toy