The UC Davis Police Department recently proposed to change the current “9” when placing outgoing calls from a campus telephone.
Using a “9” before dialing leads to roughly 3,500 to 4,000 accidental 9-1-1 calls per year. These calls equate to approximately 183 fielding hours, which adds up to a month’s worth of salary for a police officer.
These response hours accumulate because most dialers hang up. Officers are required to verify the call and make contact.
It would seem that a simple change would be obvious and somewhat overdue.
Changing the dialing-out number to any other number would be easy from a technical standpoint and would drastically cut down the number of misdials per year. Other campuses that have tried this have reported a 90 percent drop in the number of misdials.
Police officers will benefit too, as they will take 9-1-1 calls more seriously.
One possible issue with the plan is how the university would get the message out.
While this could be seen as a problem, it really shouldn’t be that difficult. A campus-wide e-mail could be sent out to students, faculty and staff. Informing every on-campus manager of the change could also be helpful.
If this plan were to be approved, it would take only a matter of a few months to reprogram phones for the change.