Authorities try to dispel the 112 myth

7:31 PM, Feb 19, 2013   |    comments
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DALLAS, Ga. - A myth concerning police impersonators and cellular phones is causing an increase in unnecessary calls to 911 centers in metro Atlanta.

Callers in Paulding County have told dispatchers they read about the myth on Facebook, where they were lead to believe they should dial 112 on their cell phone if they're concerned they're being stopped by somone posing as a police officer.

112 is the emergency number in Europe.

"That's not what you need to do," said Corp. Ashley Henson of the Paulding County Sheriff's Department. "You need to dial 911. Whether it's a real law enforcement officer or not, you always dial 911. Never ever dial 112."

The Paulding County Sheriff's Department has used its own Facebook page in an attempt to dispel the myth. Still, dozens of people in Paulding and other areas have dialed 112 out of curiosity.

"They just want to see if the number works," said Paulding 911 dispatcher Shay Wells.

At least one cellular service provider will reroute a 112 call to an emergency dispatch center, but there's no guarantee.

Paulding County's 911 center has been hampered by rerouted calls from people who've made those curiosity calls, and had no emergency at all.

"This obviously takes up our resources, our 911 lines, and could withhold 911 services to someone that has a real emergency," said Samantha Hughes of Paulding's 911 center.

Emergency officials stress that the only guaranteed way to reach a emergency dispatcher in Georgia is to dial 911.

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