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Barrie police report spike in 911 misdials, hang-ups

Increase attributed to recent update on Android phones
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The Barrie Police Service has reported a “significant increase” in 911 misdials and hang-ups in the past month.

In May, the force’s communications unit received 3,139 hang-ups — nearly double the amount reported in May 2022.

In a news release, police said the service believes the increase is “a result of a recent update to Android phones that turned on the emergency SOS feature that allows the phone to automatically call 911 if a side button is pushed five times.”

Android phone users are urged to turn that setting off by searching ‘Emergency SOS’ on their devices. They can also lock their screen when they’re not using their phones.

Police ask those who accidentally call 911 to stay on the line so call takers can confirm there is not an emergency.

“By working together now to resolve the problem, we can ensure that 911 lines are always available to report urgent, life-threatening calls that require an appropriate response and prevent any unnecessary dispatching of police resources to an address or approximate area to determine the well-being of a caller,” police said.