11/22/2012 10:33 EST | Updated 01/22/2013 05:12 EST

New Number, #377, Touted By Edmonton Police To Reduce 911 Nuisance Calls


EDMONTON - Police in Edmonton are promoting a telephone number they hope will cut down on the number of people who call 911 for tips on how to cook a turkey or prepare their taxes.

The #377 number is aimed at directing cellphone users to information they're seeking instead of making nuisance 911 calls that tie up the emergency response system.

Const. Michael Rott, who studied the problem in August, says he found about 70 per cent of the incoming 911 calls were misdials or so-called accidental pocket dials.

Kim Pudde, a 911 supervisor, says people will actually call the emergency number and demand to be put through to police, even they're not facing an emergency situation.

Police say they're promoting #377 because it was only in the last two months that all cellphone providers agreed to have the number direct callers to a non-emergency line.

The number for landline users is 780-423-4567.

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