SHERMAN, TX-Sherman police said recent prank calls could slow their response in real emergencies when seconds could make the difference between life and death.
They said emergency dispatchers have been getting at least one prank call every week, which tie up the lines and keep them from answering real emergency calls.
Just Tuesday night, they received several phone calls from the same number, some lasting up to three hours. They said most of these calls are made by kids playing with old cellphones.
"Educate their kids about the proper use of 911, and second, if parents are gonna give their young children an old cellphone, take the battery out so that it doesn't work. If they're just using it as a toy, they don't need the battery in there and it will prevent any accidental calls to 911," said Sgt. Bruce Dawsey.
He said a prank call to 911 is considered a class-B misdemeanor punishable for up to six months in jail.