Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Lincoln County sees spike in fake emergency callsSubmitted: 04/10/2013
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

MERRILL - Plenty of kids will experiment with 911 once or twice even if they're not in danger. Most learn their lesson after one time and don't do it again. But 117 prank calls in 6 months from one kid? That's out of control.

"The most recent was a 'man with a gun' call where there was an active shooter allegedly involved in the city of Tomahawk," Lincoln County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Fischer said. "We had to send many resources, lights and sirens to the scene until we realized it was our prank caller."

But it's not just a kid in Tomahawk making those calls. The number of fake 911 calls is going up, tripling in Lincoln County over the last 10 years. In 2012, the county logged 1619 fake calls, averaging 4.4 per day. Lt. Fischer says that causes several safety issues.

"Our squad cars are going lights and sirens, they're typically exceeding the speed limit, greater risks while driving. What people don't think about is if we're responding to a prank 911 call, we might not be available for the real one that's coming in right behind it," Fischer said.

Prank calls are only one piece of the puzzle. A vast majority of fake dials come from pocket dials -- where phone buttons get pushed accidentally in your pocket or purse.

And what about your old cell phones? It can be easy to give them to your kids to play with. Rhinelander Team Wireless store manager Tim Antoniewicz says that should be avoided.

"If you do still want to give your phones to your kids to play with, you're going to want to remove the battery to make it non-functional so it can't dial 911," Antoniewicz said.

That's one call Lt. Fischer hopes all parents decide to make for their kids.

"If you want to play with 911, get a play phone, get a plastic phone, hit 911, learn where those buttons are," Fischer said. "But don't call us to see if it's going to happen."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

CHIPPEWA FALLS - CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) " A former Chippewa Falls science teacher has been sentenced to six years in prison for the sexual assault of a student.

Joel Jahnke had pleaded no contest to three felony counts, including second degree sexual assault of a child. The victim was 13 years old when she was assaulted.


+ Read More

MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) " Wisconsin researchers are trying to learn more about an invasive fruit fly that has been threatening berry crops in the state since 2010.

University of Wisconsin fruit crop entomologist Christelle Guédot tells Wisconsin Public Radio (http://bit.ly/2sLfQEH) that researchers started trying to pinpoint when and where the spotted wing drosophila is most active within plants last summer.



+ Read More

MADISON - MADISON, Wis. (AP) " Madison police say a 52-year-old man is dead after a stabbing in an apartment.

Officers were called to a four-unit building on West Badger Road about 5:30 a.m. Saturday. The victim was dead at the scene. Police say he was stabbed multiple times.


+ Read More

MARSHFIELD -
Police need help finding a missing and endangered Marshfield woman. 46-year-old Anna Ineichen was last seen around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night.

Her vehicle was found off Highway 54 near Dexterville at about 3:30 Friday morning. 

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - All the spring rain this year makes it difficult for people to keep up with their lawns. It is especially hard on those who make their living off lawn care. 
 
Steinmetz Landscape Design has been in business for 35 years. Owner and founder Alan Steinmetz says the amount of rain this season isn't something he's ever seen. 

+ Read More

CRANDON - Update 10:55 a.m. Friday

The death of a woman in Crandon earlier this week appears to have been a suicide.

25 year old Savanna Larson of Lac du Flambeau died early Wednesday.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk Berry Farm opened its gates Friday for the first time this summer.

The morning was what Tom Behling calls the perfect strawberry picking weather.

Behling has owned the Tomahawk Berry Farm for more than 30 years.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here