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Johnson County Central Dispatch
Wednesday October 12th, 2011 :: 01:37 p.m. CDT

JCCD E-911 wants to remind parents to remove the battery on old cell phones before allowing children to use them.

If you're a parent who's turned your retired cell phone into a toy for your child, you may be creating a safety concern for emergency 911 dispatchers and not even know it.

The Johnson County 911 Center wants parents to know that even when you cancel your service plan for a phone, the 911 still works as long as the battery works. They say plenty of people keep the old phones charged so they will light up and make fun noises that their children enjoy.

"Most of the time we can hear the small kids playing. We can hear them playing with their siblings. Sometimes we hear mom and dad talking in the background and they have no idea that phone is an open 911 line that's tying up the dispatchers,"

Johnson County 911 Center receives about 10-15 calls like this a week.

These calls tie up a 911 dispatcher trying to verify if we have an actual emergency or not. Old cell phones do not give us any information like new phones that are in service do. So we don't have a location for it by GPS. We don't have a call back number which requires more dispatcher research.

We recommend that if you are going to give your child an old cellphone, that you remove your battery from the phone. Any phone that is shut off from service and has a battery still can dial 911.

if you have any questions please feel free to contact Jeff Noonan, Operations Manager, Johnson County 911 at 660-747-2145

Johnson County Central Dispatch
315 Hawthorne Boulevard
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 660-747-2265

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