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911 dispatchers bombarded by 'butt dials'

911 Butt Dials

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - You might want to take your cellphone out of your back pocket.

Colorado Springs police say they are noticing more accidental phone calls to their dispatch center.

"A lot of people will throw their phone in their pocket, or in their purse, or in their backpack and they end of accidentally dialing 911," said Lt. Catherine Buckley.

Police believe part of the problem is the addition of emergency call buttons built into mobile software. These features allow you to contact police more easily during an emergency situation, and they are becoming common on smartphones.

"Being able to dial 911 when you need to is important," said Radio Shack store manager Carrie Aguaio.  "When people are faced with emergencies, it's easy to forget things, like your lock code," she added.

Colorado Springs police aren't opposed to these new safety features, they just want you to be more careful with them.

"Don't allow that keypad to be open so that people can misdial, or that you accidentally dial with something other than your fingers," said Lt. Buckley.

This year, nearly 27,000 accidental calls have been placed to the Colorado Springs Dispatch Center, and those calls are tying up emergency lines.

"It takes up a lot of time on the part of the emergency response technicians. There are other people who might want to use that 911 service that have to wait in line until that is freed up," said Buckley.

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