Peel Regional Police are encouraging the public to properly dispose of old cellphones after the service’s 911 communications centre saw a spike in calls from devices without SIM cards — something that can mean crucial lost minutes for call takers.
In many of the instances, Mooken said, younger children don’t understand 911 and how the centre is for urgent situations.
“Sometimes it results in our officers having to go to where the phone is registered to or was registered to … so that potentially could tie up officers and our communications.”
When it comes to cellphones without SIM cards, Mooken encouraged people to be cognizant of where older and unregistered phones are stored and handled.
“When there isn’t one registered, it kind of ties up our operators a little bit more because they have to start calling around to the different phone companies,” he said.
“We only have so many 911 call takers, so to take one away to try and track down the owner of a phone it really is detrimental to somebody that has an actual emergency.”