What You Should Do if You Accidentally Dialed 911

RPD Southwest DistrictThe Wake County Emergency Communications Center is still experiencing an increased volume of 9-1-1 hang-up calls. In the past, this most often happened when callers were dialing long distance numbers, which included the 910 area code.  When the process of dialing local numbers included the mandatory dialing of the 919 area code, people often found themselves dialing 9-1-1 in the process of trying to key in the area code correctly. If this happens to you while dialing, here are a few steps you can take to avoid having a police officer dispatched to your home.

  • Upon accidentally dialing 9-1-1, allow the call to go through to the call center. Once a telecommunicator answers the line, tell them that you have misdialed and that there is no emergency.
  • Do not hang-up and then immediately redial the desired number that you were trying to dial instead. This will give the telecommunicator a busy signal when they try to call you back to see if there is an emergency. This will require that a police officer is dispatched to your home.
  • When the 9-1-1 call center calls you back, do not allow the answering machine to pickup instead. An officer will be dispatched to your location if an answering machine picks up.
  • If the call was placed from a land line phone at your home, do not leave your house without first speaking to a telecommunicator at the 9-1-1 call center. If you do leave without responding, a police officer will be dispatched to your home. Once the officer is on-scene and you are not at home, the officer will have to conduct an investigation to determine if you could be inside of the home undergoing some type of emergency. The officer will not know that you simply left. For the officer, it is a potential emergency and they will respond accordingly.

Please assist the call center through careful dialing and by responding appropriately if you misdial.

About RPD Southwest District

The Southwest District is divided into eleven beats and patrols the areas surrounding NC State University including Hillsborough Street, Western Avenue and Pullen Park. The Southwest District also is home to many historic neighborhoods including Five Points, Cameron Village, Roanoke Park, and many others.
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One Response to What You Should Do if You Accidentally Dialed 911

  1. Rich Murray says:

    Isn’t one of the purposes of 911 dispatching an officer in the case of a 911 hangup to assess the situation in case the caller is in an actual emergency and is not in a position to speak on the phone or is under duress and cannot give an honest answer that he/she is in trouble?
    So, armed gunman breaks into house and homeowner calls 911. The call rings once and maybe is or maybe is not answered and the intruder forces the homeowner to hang the phone up under threat of gunfire. Dispatch calls the home back and intruder picks up phone ans tells dispatch it was an accidental dial. Police are not dispatched.
    It’s a tough balance between not wasting police resources and ensuring public safety; however, I do not agree with this article’s suggestion (and potentially dispatch policy) that telling dispatch “everything is OK” should negate a check-in by an officer.