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Law enforcement needs your help to reduce 911 hang-ups


DODGE COUNTY (WKOW) -- The Dodge County Sheriff's Office is asking for your help to reduce the number of 911 hang-up calls they receive.

The sheriff's office said law enforcement has a responsibility to respond to 911 calls even when a caller hangs up, and that is currently the department's policy.

The sheriff's office said with some hang-up calls, an individual may need help but be unable to speak.

Other times, the caller is intimidated by someone else who doesn't want them to report an incident, a common occurrence in domestic violence situations. Because of this, officials need to respond to 911 hang-ups to ensure those who called can get the help they need.

According to the Dodge County Sheriff's Office, the department took 4,515 hang-up calls in 2020 and have taken 2,292 in 2021. Deputies responded to 2,012 hang-ups in 2020 and 769 in 2021. Police departments were dispatched to the rest of the 911 hang-ups when they the call happened in their jurisdiction.

"Unfortunately due to the sheer volume of these 911 hang-ups, some agencies around the state have decided to routinely close out their 911 hang-ups without a response if everything seemed ok on a callback," Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said. "This problem has become so bad that those who actually need us to respond after a 911 hang-up might not get one in some locations because there are just so many of these hung-up calls."

The Dodge County Sheriff's Office is committing to responded to 911 hang-up calls but said it "can’t fault other agencies who handle this differently due to the massive increases we have seen over the past couple of years."

The office asks everyone to:

  • Learn the emergency settings on your cell phone and do what you can to avoid accidental dials that can happen if you mistakenly set off the emergency mode on your phone and call 911 automatically.
  • Stay on the phone if you accidentally call 911 to let the dispatcher know there is no emergency.

Sheriff Schmidt is thanking the public in advance for their understanding and assistance toward resolving the issue.

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