Big Police Problem: 'Butt Dials' to 911
One city says 20% of emergency calls are mistakes
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2011 5:04 PM CST
Dial with your hands.   (
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(Newser) – "Butt dials" are becoming a police menace if Evanston, Illinois, is typical. About 20% of the city's 911 calls—around 500 a month—fall under the category of "unintentional" or "abandoned," and police blame most of them on people sitting on their phones or something similar, reports CBS Chicago. "I don't think the public realizes how often this happens,” says Evanston's 911 coordinator. "When you consider the number of these types of calls that we receive, it really taxes our resources."

The growing problem likely stems from the fact that many new phones have a 911-specific button. In some cases, police have to head out to the general location of the call to determine whether someone needs help. Adds Gizmodo: "And this, ladies and gentleman, is why you lock your homescreen."