Laramie County 911 System Choking on Non-Emergency Calls
Emergency dispatchers in Laramie County have an urgent request: stop calling 911 for non-emergency situations.
Laramie County Combined Communications Center Assistant Director Chuck Trimble says the 911 system is being "blatantly abused" by folks calling to get general information and phone numbers.
"A lot of the calls that we're getting, especially this time of year, are people looking for weather (and) road conditions," said Trimble. "(They're) not taking the time to use the smartphone that they're calling in on to do an internet search for the appropriate agency that they're looking for."
"We have to take ownership of a piece of that," he added. "For a long time we've encouraged our personnel to be helpful and to provide that information when people need it, the problem is that it's kind of grown into a monster."
Trimble says 911 dispatchers have answered 36,895 calls so far this year, 1,888 of which have been "abuse calls."
"We are targeting the first week of December to actually start sending officers and deputies out to site under state statute for abusing the system," said Trimble. "(The penalty) is up to $750 and/or six months in jail."
"We definitely don't want to give any misperception that we don't want anybody using 911 at all," he added. "If they have any doubt in their mind whether or not something is an emergency they should still call 911."