• Facebook posting tied to jam-up of 112 calls

    By: Carl Willis


    PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. - A post circulating on Facebook is tying up dispatchers at Paulding County's 911 call center.

    The post that's being shared and reposted over and over urges people to dial 112 to verify police stops if they fear they're being pulled over by a police impersonator.

    Dispatchers and a sheriff's office spokesperson told Channel 2's Carl Willis that it's having real-life effects and jamming up emergency operators.

    "Basically, it's tying everyone up," said Paulding County sheriff's Cpl. Ashley Henson.

    Henson and Samantha Hughes with Paulding County 911 said curious callers, just testing the system, are getting patched through to the county's emergency call center.

    "When they call they actually take up one of our 911 lines so, when somebody who has an emergency calls in, the line will be busy," said Hughes.

    In addition to the strain on resources, there's also an issue with reliability.

    That's because 112 only works with certain cellphone providers.

    The number has long been the toll free emergency line in the European Union.

    In some cases, service providers are able to connect the call to a local 911 operator.

    Hughes said that's not something you want to test in an emergency situation.

    "We've done our own little test in the 911 center and found that with AT&T it does work, but other carriers it does not work," said Hughes. "So, it's not confirmed that it will work all the time."

    What will work is dialing 911 directly if you ever have a real concern that you're being pulled over by a police impersonator.

    "Anytime something gets put on Facebook, it just kind of rekindles that fire, so we just want to encourage people to make sure if you do suspect you're being stopped by someone that's not a law enforcement officer, don't call 112. Call 911 and confirm it," said Henson.

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