Tampa police educating public about when to call 911 - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa police educating public about when to call 911

Posted: Updated:
Tampa police are trying to inform the public about their non-emergency line. Tampa police are trying to inform the public about their non-emergency line.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - A woman complaining about a waffle. A man whose key fob won't open his car. A woman who tripped and fell over a piece of wire at an apartment complex.

They might seem like phone calls you'd make to a friend or to a consumer hotline, but Tampa Police say those are the kind of calls that come into the 911 system on a consistent basis.

"There's limited resources," said Donovan Maginnis, a Communications Supervisor at Tampa Police 911 dispatch center. "The more there are - it means that someone with an actual emergency could have to wait because we've got a 911 call where we're trying to explain something that's not an emergency."

Tampa Police estimate about half of the calls coming in on 911 aren't emergencies.  On Facebook, the department is now posting some of the more memorable calls, hoping to catch attention and have people program the non-emergency number, 813-231-6130, into their cell phones.

"It's never a problem for us to educate someone when they do call, but if they know it's not an emergency it just kind of saves us a step," Maginnis said. "It saves them a step too because they're just going to end up dialing another number."

In the first phone call mentioned above, a woman used the 911 system to call and complain about a waffle at a Village Inn restaurant in Tampa.

"They gave me some raw waffles," she says in the 911 call from January 30. "You sold me something that was uncooked. I'm already paying for the whole waffles that was already uncooked."

Donovan Maginnis, who has taken and supervised many of those calls, says dispatchers try to help out as best they can to calm even a civil matter.

"People who call that are frustrated - we're kind of someone who's just listening. So they're able to call and get someone to listen. A lot of times they're frustrated with something," he said. "If you can calm a situation, end it and they don't call back then kind of everybody wins."

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.




  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's

    RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:04 AM EDT2014-07-22 11:04:11 GMT
    The specialty food store Trader Joe's is recalling some types of fresh produce for a possible listeria contamination.
    The specialty food store Trader Joe's is recalling some types of fresh produce for a possible listeria contamination.
  • How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:43 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:43:25 GMT
    A 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photoA 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photo
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
  • Flood insurance refunds issued beginning Oct. 1

    Flood insurance refunds issued beginning Oct. 1

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:59 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:59:42 GMT
    Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is continuing to implement the Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Insurance companies will begin to issue refunds for applicable policyholders beginning October 1, 2014.
    Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is continuing to implement the Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Insurance companies will begin to issue refunds for applicable policyholders beginning October 1, 2014.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Report card for Tampa Mayor Buckhorn earns him high marks

    Report card for Tampa Mayor Buckhorn earns him high marks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:44 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:44:38 GMT
    Artist rendering downtown TampaArtist rendering downtown Tampa
    Tampa's Mayor makes the grade with downtown investors.On the campaign trail Mayor Bob Buckhorn promised to turn a city where the sidewalks would roll up when the work whistle would blow, into a place where people could live, work and play."
    Tampa's Mayor makes the grade with downtown investors.On the campaign trail Mayor Bob Buckhorn promised to turn a city where the sidewalks would roll up when the work whistle would blow, into a place where people could live, work and play."
  • Two found dead after welfare check in Hudson

    Two found dead after welfare check in Hudson

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:44 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:44:54 GMT
    Pasco deputies are investigating the circumstances of the death of two people in Hudson found on Clark Street late Monday night.
    Pasco deputies are investigating the circumstances of the death of two people in Hudson found on Clark Street late Monday night.
  • MISSING: Bradenton girl after argument with dad

    MISSING: Bradenton girl after argument with dad

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:26 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:26:37 GMT
    Bianca Unique Agustdottir, 11, had a fight with her dad at the apartment on 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton Monday evening, and that was the last time she was seen. 
    Bianca Unique Agustdottir, 11, had a fight with her dad at the apartment on 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton Monday evening, and that was the last time she was seen. 
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.