Apple is working with local law enforcement to remedy an increase in unintentional 911 emergency calls originating from the company's distribution and repair center in Elk Grove, California. The influx of calls has been ongoing for months, with an average of 20 accidental calls per day and a total of more than 1,600 since October. 911 operators hear intermittent silence and chatter from employees when calls come in.
"We take this seriously and are working with the local police to investigate the cause and ensure that this does not continue," an Apple spokesman told CBS 13 Sacramento. The company is working urgently to stop more calls and distractions for dispatch employees who deal with real emergencies during the day. The Communications Center of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department has also been on the receiving end, counting 47 calls from Apple's facilities in Elk Grove since the beginning of the year.
"The moments that really hit us are when we have other emergencies and we can have a dispatcher in another 911 call that may have to suspend that call to sort the incoming call," police dispatcher Jamie Hudson told CBS. But the police have clearly stated that "public safety is not in danger" due to the situation.
Apple has not confirmed which device or devices are making calls to 911. Both the iPhone and Apple Watch have an SOS emergency mode that can dial emergency services with a few taps. This characteristic is attributed to having saved lives, but it is not clear if it is linked to this problem. The company's large distribution / repair facility is located on Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove.