Cell Phones Without Coverage Plans Can Still Call 9-1-1...Crime - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cell Phones Without Coverage Plans Can Still Call 9-1-1...Crime Tracker Kalae Chock Tells Us That's Good And Bad

Posted: Updated:

KHQ'S KALAE CHOCK: Even cell phones that don't have a coverage plan can call 911. They're called uninitialized phones.  Even if it is not activated, it can call 911if the phone has power. The Spokane County Call Center says to keep this in mind if you give your old phone to your young child to use as a toy. They say it's important to take out the battery so that your child doesn't accidentally call 911. 

The call center says the uninitialized phones can be used for good even though they come with limitations. Domestic violence advocates give the phones to victims in abusive relationships.  Some parents have also trusted older children to carry the phones in case they need to call 911 in an emergency.

However, uninitialized phones also come with limitations.  911 operators can't trace the call. The operator will only be able to trace the call to the nearest cell phone tower. In real emergencies, the center can get help from the cell provider in triangulating the call between three towers to get a better location. However, it requires time, which is precious in emergency situations. There is also no way for the operator to call back because the phone isn't linked to a phone number.

Last year, the call center received 19,895 hang-up calls. They say there's no way to determine if the hang-ups came from uninitialized phones, but they say hang-ups were the second most common type of call the center received. Medical calls were number one.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • 2 stabbed to death, 1 injured on Portland train by man hurling racial slurs

    2 stabbed to death, 1 injured on Portland train by man hurling racial slurs

    Saturday, May 27 2017 11:29 AM EDT2017-05-27 15:29:58 GMT

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Police in Oregon say two people died and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young Muslim women. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports officers arrested a man Friday afternoon who ran from the train.  Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson says the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using "hate speech or biased language," and turned his focus on the women.

    More >>

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Police in Oregon say two people died and another was hurt in a stabbing on a Portland light-rail train after a man yelled racial slurs at two young Muslim women. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports officers arrested a man Friday afternoon who ran from the train.  Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson says the assailant on the train was ranting on many topics, using "hate speech or biased language," and turned his focus on the women.

    More >>
  • Texas governor cracks joke about reporters at gun range

    Texas governor cracks joke about reporters at gun range

    Saturday, May 27 2017 11:29 AM EDT2017-05-27 15:29:23 GMT

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is drawing criticism for cracking a joke about reporters at a gun range. Abbott took some target practice Friday, after signing a bill reducing fees for state handgun licenses. The San Antonio Express-News reported that when he was given his target sheet, Abbott joked, "I'm going to carry this around in case I see any reporters." 

    More >>

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is drawing criticism for cracking a joke about reporters at a gun range. Abbott took some target practice Friday, after signing a bill reducing fees for state handgun licenses. The San Antonio Express-News reported that when he was given his target sheet, Abbott joked, "I'm going to carry this around in case I see any reporters." 

    More >>
  • ISIS claims responsibility for Egypt bus attack; 29 Christians killed

    ISIS claims responsibility for Egypt bus attack; 29 Christians killed

    Saturday, May 27 2017 9:00 AM EDT2017-05-27 13:00:28 GMT

    CAIRO (AP) - The German government is condemning the attack against a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt in which 24 people were killed and 25 wounded.A Foreign Ministry spokesman says the news was being received with "deep sorrow," noting that German is currently hosting a large gathering of the Protestant Church.

    More >>

    CAIRO (AP) - The German government is condemning the attack against a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt in which 24 people were killed and 25 wounded.A Foreign Ministry spokesman says the news was being received with "deep sorrow," noting that German is currently hosting a large gathering of the Protestant Church.

    More >>