Tornado Warning issued for Yadkin County

With uptick in accidental 911 calls, Burlington police unveil new plan

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- In the last three months, Burlington police say they have gotten 1,514 911 hang-up calls.

"Hang-up calls" refers to callers who either immediately hang up the phone after dialing 911 or say nothing at all.

The high number of these calls, Assistant Chief Chris Verdeck says, spreads Burlington police thin.

"It's a huge strain," he said. "It's tying up our patrol officers answering these calls when they're really not calls at all."

Now Burlington police officers have a new plan that they plan to implement "very soon," according to Verdeck.

Instead of sending two patrol cars to every 911 hang-up, as they do now, they will begin to send only one in some cases.

"If we don't hear an active disturbance in the background, or somebody calling for help for example, then we're going to start sending one car rather than a two car response," Verdeck said.

In 2015, Verdeck said BPD received 3,170 911 hang-up calls.

From the start of 2016 until Aug. 20, 2016, BPD received 3,363.