Sauk County reports increase in pocket dial 911 calls from amusement parks
BARABOO, Wis. — The Sauk County Sheriff’s Department reported an increase in pocket dial 911 phone calls from amusement parks.
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“We take every 911 call serious. We listen, and if there is no sound at all, we stay on the phone for a good 45 seconds to one minute, just to hear anything in the background,” Communications Supervisor Dena Weinke said. “If we can’t hear anything, we disconnect and call back.”
As a dispatcher, Weinke said, the most important thing is to listen to a 911 call.
“You just really have to listen to see what they’re saying, to see if there is a true emergency or what’s going on,” Weinke said.
The number of overall pocket dials has increased by 75% to 100% in the last five years, according to Weinke.
“We can hear them in a pocket or a bag and you can hear them walking,” Weinke said. “Other times, you can hear them on amusement rides, where you can hear them screaming or laughing.”
Weinke said dispatchers are able to locate the cellphone and always treat the call as an emergency until it is confirmed otherwise.
The Sauk County Sheriff’s Department recommends keeping phones locked and put away in a place where pocket dials are less likely to happen.
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