Richmond County receives hundreds of non-emergency calls

RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - If you've ever been in traffic and wanted to dial 9-1-1 to find out what is going on, think again. Richmond County 9-1-1 Services officials say they are receiving too many non-emergency calls.

When there is truly an emergency, those calls are being impacted by people who call for a traffic update, according to Daniel Dunlap, Director of Richmond County 9-1-1 Emergency Services.

They've received calls about cats being in tree's and simple apologies, none of which were urgent.

"We have situations where people were complaining because there was a bicycle left outside of a house and they feel that's something we need to have police over to address," Dunlap said.

Dunlap says they receive 1,000 calls a day and about half of them are unnecessary. They get in the way of dire emergencies being answered in a timely manner.

And they don't just have calls coming in on the phone, they also have calls dispatching over the radio.

"So we're trying to multitask and do the best with what we have and when we're inundated with non-emergency calls we might not be able to get to the emergency call," Dunlap explained. 

When you're sitting in traffic wondering what's causing the delay, officials say there are other avenues like 5-1-1 or 3-1-1 to call.

"But people will go back to the old fail-safe of calling 9-1-1 to find out what's going on and that's not the number to call," Dunlap said. 

So next time you think about dialing 9-1-1, make sure it's an urgent matter.

Officials also want parents to monitor their kids playing on their old phones because they can still connect to a 9-1-1 call. 

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