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Stick with 9-1-1, Don’t Follow Hoax Advice to Dial 1-1-2 If Unmarked Police Car Has Flashing Lights Behind You

Sat September 27 2014 6:26 pm
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People may call 9-1-1 to notify police if they are concerned about validity or authenticity when they are being followed by an unmarked police car with flashing red or blue lights. However, they should ignore advice on social media sites, such as Facebook, that recommend dialing 1-1-2 if you’re being followed by an unmarked car with flashing lights.

While dialing 1-1-2 might work because the number could be forwarded to 9-1-1, it doesn’t have priority over 9-1-1 calls, may even connect a little more slowly because the call has to be forwarded, and may not connect to 9-1-1 at all. Some posts on Facebook claim dialing 1-1-2, the European emergency number, instead of 9-1-1 will get a quicker response. It is also possible the 1-1-2 call would not be forwarded as not all cell phone carriers necessarily forward 1-1-2 calls to 9-1-1.

Another negative is that dialing 1-1-2 might prevent the 9-1-1 center from seeing your global position data, which would be especially dangerous if you are being followed by a police impersonator in an unknown, dangerous location.

The social media hoax has recently seen a revival locally with the report of a sexual assault this past week in Arlington Heights. The hoax advice from years ago involved a story that said a woman was being followed by a sexual offender driving a vehicle made to look like an unmarked squad car.

Concerned citizens should not call 1-1-2 to “test” whether the number functions to connect to 9-1-1, because multiple tests could overload circuits, and even if there is no overload, the call could compete with callers with actual emergencies.

National Emergency Number Association (NENA) has reiterated that 911 is the number for people to call for emergency help when in the United States.

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  • Current Conditions : 34.9F, Overcast - 2:03 PM CST Nov. 17
    Temperature: 34.9°F | Humidity: 85% | Pressure: 30.32in ( Falling) | Conditions: Overcast | Wind Direction: ESE | Wind Speed: 0mph
  • Tonight as of Nov. 17 3:11 AM CST
    Tonight - Cloudy. Chance of light rain and snow mainly south and near the lake. Lows in the upper 20s in the suburbs...but in the lower to mid 30s downtown. North winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 30 percent.
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    Today - Light snow in the morning, then a chance of light rain and light snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation up to 1 to 2 inches. Highs in the mid 30s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph becoming north 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.
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    Sunday - Cloudy in the morning then clearing. Highs in the mid 30s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph in the morning becoming west in the afternoon.