Dispatchers from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department want to remind you that even if you retire a cell phone and cancel service, often times that phone can still call out to 9-1-1 centers.
Some parents give their retired cell phone to children to play with but if that phone still has a functioning battery and that child “pretends” to call 9-1-1, chances are that phone call will ring into the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department often receives these types of 9-1-1 calls and dispatchers can hear children and other people talking on the other end of the phone, but the caller is often not aware that they have actually dialed an emergency center. Dispatchers can not call the person back to determine if there is a real emergency because the phone has been disconnected from service and the number is not registered.
If you do have an old cell phone that you are allowing a child to play with, make sure the battery is removed from the device or discontinue charging the battery. Dispatchers need to keep 9-1-1 centers clear for emergency calls.