Maine Police Showed Up at My Door All Because My Phone Has a Mind of Its Own
This is a story that I just can't make up. Wednesday night, I was woken up by my girlfriend Michele and walked out to the kitchen to see a Windham Police Officer standing there. Why? Well, that's the crazy part.
Ever since a tree fell in our driveway in the early hours Tuesday morning and took lines down with it, we've been without internet. We lost power too, but we were lucky that it was restored relatively quickly. Our neighbors lost the line to their house and it wasn't until later that evening their power was restored.
Everything I do at home pretty much involves the internet, and without it, I have been using my phone a lot more. When I went to bed I locked my phone and put it on my charger and it started making a really loud noise and began calling someone. I quickly hung it up, having no idea what just happened. I climbed into bed and then the phone rang from a number a didn't recognize but answered it.
"Hello, this is 911 calling," said the woman on the other end of the phone. "Did you call for an emergency?" Great. I somehow accidentally dialed 911 by locking my phone. How does that even happen?
I explained that it was an accident, and she was very kind about it but said I needed to answer some questions for her. I gave her my name, address, phone number and had to verify that I did not need emergency assistance. I did all that and apologized to her. She said not to worry, just be sure if it ever happens again to stay on the line so they don't send anyone out to check and see if I'm okay. I apologized once more, said thank you, and took a look at my phone settings to see what happened.
Android, like most phones, has a feature that allows you to easily call 911 in an emergency. For Android 11, you press the power button quickly 5 times. I did NOT do that, but ever since I upgraded to the new version of Android, the power button is doing weird things, like opening my camera instead of locking. So until I can figure out why that happened, I disabled Emergency SOS, and then I went to bed.
20 minutes later, Michele is calling me to come out in the kitchen. I struggle, having just fallen asleep, and walk out to see a police officer standing just inside the door. Officer Devin Rogers of the Windham Police department was standing in my kitchen. The embarrassment continues.
He was here just to check up on me. I assured him I was fine, but I understand why they do this. There's no way for them to know for sure that I'm fine unless they come out to find out for themselves. That's why the dispatcher got all the information from me and Officer Rogers came to check on me.
He said these false alarms are pretty common. People's phones have called 911 just by dropping them into a cupholder of a car.
So what's the takeaway from this that everyone should remember and what I have now learned? If you or your not-so-smart phone accidentally dials 9-1-1, DO NOT HANG UP. Let the dispatcher know what happens and be ready to let an officer know what happened too. It may be embarrassing, but that's what they do on a daily basis to ensure our safety. Thanks to Officer Rogers and the friendly dispatcher for making sure I was okay.
Maine-Made Holiday Gift Ideas: A Guide to Buying Local
30+ Mainers Share Photos of Their Christmas Trees With Us
LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born