EDMONTON — In which circumstances should you dial 911? And when is it more appropriate to call the non-emergency line? Those are the questions Edmonton police hope to answer through a new social media campaign.
“We are once again trying to raise awareness about proper use of 911, as we continue to see errant calls flood our emergency line,” Insp. Graham Hogg with the Edmonton Police Service said.
“The majority of these calls come from citizens who don’t know the difference between an emergency and a non-emergency.”
So far this year, the EPS 911 call centre has received 90,034 calls. Of those, 36,617 calls (41 per cent) were not emergencies. The percentage is similar to 2015 data, which showed 152,320 of the 388,736 911 calls (39 Per cent) were not emergencies.
From now until June, the EPS will take to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in hopes of educating people on when to dial 911. The campaign, “Make the Right Call,” will also include ads on buses, trains and at transit stations.
“We hope our social media followers will share and retweet our messages so we can reach as many citizens as possible,” Hogg said. “We are asking all residents of Edmonton to know the difference between an emergency and a non-emergency, and when it’s appropriate to call 911.
“By making the right call, you may literally be helping save a life.”
EPS 911 calls:
Police encourage people to call 911 when someone is in a life-threatening situation or they witness a crime in progress.
It’s suggested people dial #377 from a mobile phone or 780-423-4567 (the non-emergency police line) when they see suspicious activity, their vehicle was broken into or a non-violent crime was committed.
Officers don’t want to deter people from calling 911 when they really need to, but they want to ensure everyone knows what constitutes an emergency.
Police will be sharing examples of the right times to call 911 on social media using the hashtag #EPS377.
The EPS ran its “Make the Right Call” campaign in 2012 and 2013 with transit and newspaper ads.
For more information on proper 911 use, visit the Edmonton Police Service’s website.