40 Percent of New York City’s 911 Calls Accidental; NBC New York Reports

The city’s 911 system fielded nearly four million accidental calls in 2010, which exceeded the number of times officers were dispatched to real emergencies, a consultant’s report commissioned by the mayor’s office found.

The inadvertent — or “butt dial” — calls accounted for nearly 40 percent of the 10.4 million 911 calls received in 2010. Police cars were dispatched to 3.5 million of the calls received, according to the Daily News.

The disproportionate number of accidental calls was among the findings in the consultant’s report, an edited version of which was released Friday after legal efforts to force the mayor to make it public.

The report attributes the substantial number of accidental calls to the proliferation of cell phones. And it predicts the problem will only get worse.

Despite the findings, the report says the city has done nothing to account for or combat the accidental 911 calls, which are generally shorter than calls reporting actual emergencies. The influx of those calls ultimately makes overall 911 response times appear shorter, the report said.

The NYPD reported an average response time of just over one minute in 2010. But considering accidental calls accounted for nearly 40 percent of all taken that year, “utilizing this metric as currently calculated does not accurately reflect the NYPD’s time spent on received and processed 911 calls,” the report said.

Read more on NBC New York

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