Aurora 911 Center Warns Smartwatch Users Of 'SOS' Misdials

Mike Krauser
October 10, 2018 - 10:33 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Aurora 911 center wants people with Apple watches and other devices with emergency or "SOS" capabilities to be aware of misdials that are tying up dispatchers and police officers.  

The Aurora Telecommunications Supervisor, Dan Wennmaker, said it’s happening about 10-times a day.   

“We’re having the same problem that’s happened for years over carrying cellphones in the back pocket, commonly referred to as ‘butt-dialing’ to 911, we’re getting the same with the Apple watches and other watches.” 

Simply holding down a button will call 911, and often there’s a hang-up, so dispatchers will call back, and if there’s no answer and the location is established, police are dispatched. 

“We end up spending a substantial amount of time on these,” Wennmaker said.

In some cases, people aren’t aware of what their devices can do.  

“Long and short of it is be aware of what you have and understand how it works," he said.

Emergency contacts set up on devices are notified in some cases, so they end up calling police concerned about their loved one who called 911.