Yuma Sun

911 calls in San Luis, Arizona, misrouted across the border


SAN LUIS, Ariz. – People who dial 911 here may be transferre­d to police in San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., before being routed back to this side of the border to the emergency dispatcher­s they were trying to reach in the first place.

Callers in the Arizona border city are getting routed across the border because they are close to cell phone towers in Mexico and because that country also uses the 911 emergency number, police in San Luis, Ariz., said.

Police said they can do nothing to fix the problem other than to work out procedures with the police dispatchin­g center in San Luis Rio Colorado to reroute the calls back to dispatcher­s on this side of the border.

The problem is not new, but the San Luis Police Department lately has been getting more complaints about it, said police spokesman Lt. Marco Santana.

“Evidently with the growth of the city, there are more emergency calls and more of these kinds of cases are being seen,” he said.

Santana said it takes the police dispatchin­g center in San Luis Rio Colorado to reroute calls from the Arizona side.

“They already know (about the problem) and they automatica­lly transfer the calls to us in San Luis, Arizona,” he said. “But we share the same number for emergency calls, and we think this will continue occurring. There is no immediate solution.

“We tell those who have complained to us that it is a situation that we can’t do anything about, that we can only continue working with the department in San Luis Rio Colorado to transfer the calls here.”

People on the Arizona side who use a land line to call 911 won’t have the same problem, Santana said, “but almost no one has them anymore, everyone uses cell phones.”

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