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The Standard (Elliot Lake) - - LAW -

At ap­prox­i­mately 3:12 p.m., of­fi­cers checked a ve­hi­cle and de­ter­mined that the driver had been con­sum­ing al­co­holic bev­er­ages.

As a re­sult of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Keith Singer, age 40, of Sud­bury, is charged with: driv­ing with over 80 mg of al­co­hol in blood.

The ac­cused is sched­uled to ap­pear in Gore Bay Court on Nov. 19. and it is au­to­mat­i­cally re­ferred to the po­lice to in­ves­ti­gate. All 911 calls, in­clud­ing dropped 911 calls, are treated as if they are life threat­en­ing emer­gen­cies. The po­lice are then tasked with lo­cat­ing the source of the 911 call and de­ter­min­ing if there is, in fact, an emer­gency.

Although the source of a 911 land-line call is nor­mally trace­able with rel­a­tive ease, cell­phone calls are not al­ways so eas­ily tracked. De­pend­ing on the strength of your cell sig­nal and sev­eral other fac­tors, the po­lice may only be able to pin­point your lo­ca­tion to a cer­tain town, cell tower or ra­dius. Even with the ad­vanced abil­ity to “ping” the lo­ca­tion of your cell­phone, there are fac­tors that can make this un­re­li­able. The com­bi­na­tion of all these el­e­ments mean that po­lice can spend hours search­ing for some­one who called 911 by ac­ci­dent and hung-up on the op­er­a­tor. That is time that could be oth­er­wise spent re­spond­ing to ac­tual emer­gen­cies, in­ves­ti­gat­ing crimes or pa­trolling our com­mu­ni­ties and high­ways.

On­tario’s un­in­ten­tional calls have de­creased over the last few years, how­ever more work needs to be done. The OPP is launch­ing the #Knowwhen­to­call cam­paign this fall to fur­ther ed­u­cate the pub­lic on un­in­ten­tional calls in­clud­ing pocket di­als to 9-1-1.

• If you ac­ci­den­tally call 911, do not hang up the phone. Stay on the line and tell the op­er­a­tor what hap­pened. The op­er­a­tor will need to know ex­actly where you are so the po­lice can ver­ify that the 911 call was ac­ci­den­tal.

• Re­mem­ber that if you call 911 by ac­ci­dent or mis­tak­enly use it in a nonur­gent sit­u­a­tion, you’re ‘not’ in trou­ble with the po­lice. How­ever, of­fi­cers will need to check on you to ver­ify that there is no emer­gency.

• Lock your cell­phone when it is in your pocket or your purse.

• Do not let your chil­dren play with your phone. They may in­ad­ver­tently call 911 and not be able to tell you what they’ve done. Even old cell­phones that still have a bat­tery in them are ca­pa­ble of call­ing 911.

• Ed­u­cate your chil­dren about the use of 911 and that peo­ple who are in real dan­ger need emer­gency ser­vices per­son­nel to be avail­able.

“As cell­phones be­come more and more preva­lent, the in­crease in dropped 911 calls has also in­creased ex­po­nen­tially. What’s most con­cern­ing about this trend, is that cit­i­zens have the abil­ity to stop it by mak­ing sim­ple changes to their be­hav­iour. Things like lock­ing your cell­phone, not let­ting your chil­dren play with your phone or tak­ing the time to look up or “google” a non-emer­gency num­ber for the po­lice can vir­tu­ally elim­i­nate this is­sue. The pub­lic counts on of­fi­cers to be avail­able when they re­ally need them, and in­ves­ti­gat­ing dropped 911 calls dras­ti­cally lim­its that avail­abil­ity,” says In­spec­tor Tyler Stur­geon, East Al­goma OPP de­tach­ment com­man­der.

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