CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) — The Charlotte 911 Center receives around 2,800 calls per day – but dispatchers said a growing number of those calls aren’t necessary and could soon put people with real emergencies in danger.
From the strange…
“I need to know how many miles it is from Tampa, Florida to Charlotte.”
To the straight up bizarre…
“I need the area. Area code. Ok you need the area code for Venezuela?”
The Charlotte 911 Center inside CMPD HQ is on track to handle around one million calls this year. Thousands of those calls, are not for an emergency.
“They are putting someone’s life at risk,” a dispatcher told FOX 46 Charlotte.
One of the most common non-emergency calls to dispatchers – people complaining about their food delivery orders.
“I want you to go to Dominos on West Church at Sugar Creek because they are not bringing my order.”
No matter the subject…
“I’ve got some type of bee in my car and I am on 77. I just stopped. He’s huge. Is there somebody who is gonna come help me!”
The response from dispatchers is the same.
“This is not an emergency. This is not a call for 911,” dispatchers will tell callers.
“Most people will say ok thank you and hang up. Sometimes they are irate and they want police,” a dispatcher explained to FOX 46 Charlotte.
“I need the police because I am in home care and my own nurse she don’t do nothing for me and she take all my stuff and now she saying she is going home and leave me here by myself. “
“We need to educate the public on what is a true emergency. Is someone having a heart attack? Is someone’s life in danger?” dispatch explained.
Even with a better understanding of how 911 works, the problem may never end.
“I am trying to get home and there are dogs running loose and I am scared. So I need a dog catcher or police to take me home please.”
Dispatchers said there are chronic abusers who call 911 for something that isn’t an emergency. In those calls, dispatchers can ping the cell phone, find the location, and send police. That person can be arrested for harassing 911 and face jail time or a fine.