An Apple repair center keeps calling 911.
An iPhone repair facility in Elk Grove, California, has been flooding dispatchers with false 911 calls. The Elk Grove police station has been receiving around 20 calls a day for the last 4 months, adding up to around 1600 calls. Additionally, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department has received 47 calls this year.
False 911 calls can of course impact response to actual emergency calls. “The times when it’s greatly impacting us is when we have other emergencies happening and we may have a dispatcher on another 911 call that may have to put that call on hold to triage the incoming call,” explained police dispatcher Jamie Hudson.
It is generally common knowledge that if you accidently call 911, you should quickly explain to the dispatcher that it was a mistaken call, and let them get back to their business. Even this is not taking place with these false calls. Dispatchers state that they can often here people speaking in the background on these calls, but no one is on the line with them.
Could these false calls be repair technicians testing the Emergency SOS feature on iPhones which will call 911 if the iPhone’s power button is pressed 5 times in succession? Possibly. However, if this is being purposely done, then this is incredibly irresponsible of Apple. Apple has stated that they are aware of the issue ad working with the police stations to rectify it, which leaves me wondering if Apple is expecting some sort of action by the police station. The responsibility of these false calls lie squarely on Apple’s shoulders and should be wholly their responsibility to resolve.