The Waterloo Regional Police are trying hard to free up valuable police time and resource by dealing with the volume of calls received on the 911 service that are either ‘pocket dials’ or non-emergency calls. Anytime someone dials 911 and they are not responding to the operator it ties up the service. Anytime the call is not an emergency it also ties up the service.
In response to the many calls the police have implemented a variety of new measures aimed at making reporting non emergencies easier, and at dealing with pocket dials. These measures include the ability to report many incident types online. They are also responding with test messages to dropped cellular 911 calls (pocket dials). If no one responds to the text then officers follow up in person.
Here is a copy of the online reporting form from their website.
Police say that so far this year they have been able to redirect almost 2100 non-emergency calls and prevent sending frontline officers to respond to the calls. The police hope that the new reporting and response methods will allow them to reach people more easily and more quickly than traditional methods such as going to the home address of individuals.
Other call reducing strategies include increasing online reporting of theft to $5,000 and auto collision reporting at the reporting centres.