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strange 911 police action- opinion?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by thorn726, Jan 20, 2006.

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  1. thorn726

    thorn726 Member

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    so i wonder what some of you think of this.
    a friend of mine got a house in a remote area a little less than a year ago, so he is not well known in town or anything.

    last night the police show up. they claim they received a 911 call from his address, and because it was 911, they MUST look around inside the house.

    now this makes some sense, the most obvious being that if an intruder holds you captive, makes you hang up, etc.

    HOWEVER- in hindsight first off my friend realizes that the odds of his dsl/phone service dialing 911 are zero, he's not on the local phone system. next= he checked with his service to see if his phone somehow accidentally dialed 911.
    it did not.
    police claim this happens form time to time, phones :"accidentally" call 911

    anyone else think this is an end-around a search warrant, a very dubious method of getting a look inside someone's house???

    i am highly annoyed by this happening.

    on one hand, YEs if i dialed 911, i would want the police to look around and make sure i am not being held under duress and telling them everything is ok, but on the other hand , ARGH!!!!

    now any cop can claim they got a 911 call from my house and just barge in???
    i dont like it one bit, what do you think???

    any LEO's have any input on this???
     
  2. middy

    middy Member

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    They can't come in without a warrant or an invitation. Theoretically. Nowadays with the "War on (Some) Drugs" and the "Patriot Act"... who knows? :banghead:
     
  3. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Sounds extremely suspicious to me. I'd be asking the cops for the phone records of their 911 center, so as to prove whether such a call did, in fact, come in. If it's not on the log - lawyer time!
     
  4. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    smells like a fishing expedition to me.
    My reply would be:
    I doubt your statement about the 911 call BUT,
    I have nothing to hide and might consider "letting you look around"
    after I speak with your shift supervisor
    and while you're waiting on my porch, what is his/her name and phone number
    so I can write it here next to my lawyer's phone number.
     
  5. LawDog

    LawDog Moderator Emeritus cum Laude

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    Yes, 911 calls come in all the time that were never dialed. I don't know if it's our equipment, something at the phone company, something at the house or a combination of all the above.

    Were there people in the house before your friend moved in? If so, and they had local phone service, since your friend has a non-local service, the local service may think the old phone is still hooked up.

    A family here had a similar problem when they switched from local to some big outfit. Everytime they dialed a phone number that contained the numer '9', the old system read it as dialling 911 and sent it through.

    *shrug*

    I'm not sure of any laws around here that demand a walk-through of the house on a 911 call. We do however, require that the deputy 'check to his statisfaction' that everything is okay.

    If I get to a 911 call and am greeted by an irritated mother who promptly announces that her child dialled 911, and the kids are all acting normally,then I'm probably not going to check any further.

    If I get to the house and a lady screams to me through the mail slot that everythings okay and to go away, then I'm going to insist that the front door get opened at the very least, and the lady is going to have to come out of the house to my car and talk to me. Depending on what happens then, I may insist on entering the house.

    LawDog
     
  6. Universal

    Universal Guest

    Actually this happens all the time. For example, in the late 90s many cordless phones called 911 when their batteries ran low. I do not think this was a feature build in on purpose but it happen quite often. Also, there are several other times a law enforcement officer can enter a home beside with a warrant or with consent.

    This story does not sound out there at all and the first thing I thought of was how many calls like that I had taken. It was a lot.
     
  7. swampsniper

    swampsniper Member

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    Deputies showed up here, one morning, 3 AM, insisting that I had dialed 911.
    When I finally got back in bed, it was almost time to go to work. I couldn't figure out what happened until I picked up the cordless phone, my girl friends kitten had peed on it.
     
  8. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    BWAHAHAHAHA Well I'm sure that was an emergency to your cordless phone!

    I understand that there ARE circumstances were cops can enter a home with out a warrant. I don't particularly like it, but thats all I say on the topic beyond agreeing with Preacherman. Not in the logs? Its LAWYER TIME!
     
  9. pcf

    pcf Member

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    I'd tell them that I'm calling the police department/911 and find out if there are supposed to be officers at my place, who's responding and why, and politely ask them to wait. Criminals disguising themselves as the police is nothing new.

    If you refuse entry, and they have a warrant or there are exigent circumstances, they will let you know, and they will enter your domicile.

    Also did they say "you must let us in" or "You MUST [give us permission/allow us] to enter and look around"?

    It's entirely possible that the responding officers received an incorrect address.
     
  10. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    :D

    The faked 911 calls are fairly common. Purdue PD and West Lafayette are using faked "suicides" calls to enter without warrants.
     
  11. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    First, what was the originating phone number? What address did it come from?

    The bad thing is that I will likely have a gun in my hand if I am answering the door in the middle of the night. There had better be uniformed LEO's and flashing lights outside.
     
  12. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Heck, the deputies can't even find an address out in our neck of the woods most of the time:p


    Just tell the officer:
    "This is not the emergency that you are looking for."
    (officer says "this isn't the emergency that I was looking for")
    "You're sorry to have bothered me."
    (officer says "I'm sorry to have bothered you")
    "I can go back to sleep now."
    (officer says "you can go back to sleep now")
     
  13. JJpdxpinkpistols

    JJpdxpinkpistols Member

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    The system that WE used was called E911 (for Enhanced-911), and it is supposed to be updated with the correct info for the address. This is indexed in the records to the service address, NOT the billing address or the mailing address or any other address.

    Theorhetically, this address will match because you can't install service at a wrong address, right? Right?

    Truth it, this method *is* fairly reliable, and tho nothing is fool-PROOF, it is highly fool-resistant. In my 3 years of looking at such records and verifying them I only saw one wrong. We did this for EVERY step of the process so every account that I encountered was examined by at least 3 people--i was 3rd tier repair for telephony service and installations.

    I handled 60 accounts a day, so out of 45000 theorhetical accounts, I found one address wrong on the records. Thats an exceptionally low percentage of accounts that were out of the system, or in the system wrong. Oh, and that account had an inverted number on the zip code +4 extension, so 911 would have gone through even WITH that error.

    Not saying its impossible. Just improbable, and from my experience, i will add the term *highly* to "improbable"
     
  14. Rusher

    Rusher Member

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    +1 what PCF said.....they can kindly wait there while i confirm they have the correct address from the 911 operator
     
  15. swampsniper

    swampsniper Member

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    I reckon that if I had tried to call the SO, I'd have known sooner that the cat peed on the phone!:D
     
  16. bogie

    bogie Member

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    A while back, I had to make a long distance call at home. Where I work, like many places, you dial 9 to get an ourside number. Out of reflex, I dialed 9 and 1, and then I noticed I didn't have a dial tone in there, so I hit 1 again... Oops.
     
  17. pcf

    pcf Member

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    JJ, thanks for the tidbit. I've gotten in excess of $200 dollars in miscellanous charges on one months phone bill due to previous numbers at my place and billing errors, I get them every month. Never had to pay them, but from my perspective the phone companies ability to correlate phone numbers and addresses has been disapointing.
     
  18. one-shot-one

    one-shot-one Member

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    can't speak to the dsl but

    17 years ago we went thur this when the local sheriff showed up at 2am knocking on the door, when they finilly managed to wake us we see the cop car in the drive way and assume that the are looking for the drunk across the street, i answer the door while the wife sets at the kitchen bar with my .357 in her lap. two deputies, one at the door and one 10' back and to the right. as i open the door the phone rings and it is the 911 operator asking my wife to answer the door, she replies that her husban is there now.
    the operator says no miss you open the door. to late i'm there already, i let one duputy in to see that no one was there but us.
    happened three more times that night but after the first they just called back without sending anyone.
    went out and bought all new phones the next day.
     
  19. Otherguy Overby

    Otherguy Overby member

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    Sheesh, false 911, that's scary. I can see it happening to me at the country place. I've a solar gate in the woods where there's no view of the house or grounds. I often shoot on the land.

    It sure would be a bad thing for a cop to show up and be stopped by the gate, hear shooting and report in "shots fired."

    WWLDD? (What would LawDog do?)
     
  20. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    Believe it or not, I know of at least one case in which a phone line was cut and service was assumed to have thus been ended. Years later, it was discovered that the wires in the cut end at the house (abandoned by then) were managing to dial 911 by making contact!

    :eek:

    Actually, I've always kind of harbored doubt in my heart about that one, but I trust the source.
     
  21. pub1tzu

    pub1tzu Member

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    That was my issue in the first place

    So, I took a few of the pieces of advice and called the Sheriff's dept...they said there was NO 911 call reported anywhere in my neighborhood.
    Now, I'm even more concerned...it's got me calling ADT to see if they can install a security system this w/e.
    Thanks for everybody's input...and a big YIKES!!!
    Now, I assume they were not real police officers, and I'm quite concerned for my safety.
    Thanks to the suggestions about calling while the "officers" are outside, I'll be better prepared next time...being as I had nothing to hide, I didn't have an issue with letting them inside...
    Well, not much more for me to say, but again, thanks for everybody's input.
    enjoy
     
  22. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Hokay... Was anything missing after the folks did the inspection?

    Were they from the sheriff's office, or were they other cops? State or county or city?

    ASK for ID. Get your local PD's "normal" use number, and check up on anyone.

    Go down, and ask to see their personnel photographs.
     
  23. Desertdog

    Desertdog Member

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    I have found that here (PRK) a discontinued phone service is not a dead line.

    At one time, when my kids were at home, we had two lines. I can still get a dial tone on the "dead" line.

    The line is kept connected to the phone company so a person, that has disconnected service, has the capability of calling 911.

    You may also be able to call the business office, but I am not sure.
     
  24. scout26

    scout26 Member

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    What until your preschooler learns about 911.

    Yep, when she was about 4 years old she called 911 one night from our bedroom phone and then when they answered, she hungup without saying a word.



    We had a lot of Police, most of the Fire Department, and an Ambulance show up at the house. All at rather high rate of speed.

    Needless to say we were rather surprised what with all the flashing lights in front of our house. :what:

    It's funny now, but it wasn't funny then.
     
  25. JJpdxpinkpistols

    JJpdxpinkpistols Member

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    Thats commonly referred to as "Soft" or "Restricted" Dialtone, and it does make sense from a safety point of view.

    Phone service going to your house but terminating on the block outside, uses as much electricity as phone service that terminates *inside* your house at your phone. if people can't get outside the 911/business office, then they are probably going to stop *trying* to do so soon thereafter.

    If you have restricted the dialtone at the switch end of things thus only 911 and office calls work, then you aren't exactly paying a lot more for the service, and it *does* enhance public safety -- especially fire response times.
     
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