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Hang-ups among leading Kewaunee County calls

Pocket dialing may be the second leading cause of 911 calls to the Kewaunee County Dispatch Center. According to statistics released by Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski, the dispatch center is on pace to handle around 10,300 calls in 2019, which is up from the last time he took a deep dive into the numbers in 2016. The highest frequency of calls is for “rescue calls,” which at just over 1,100 for the year includes people experiencing medical emergencies both at home and at a clinic. Over 800 calls to the dispatch center have been the result of 911 hang-ups, up from 527 in 2016. Joski guesses as smartphone usage has gone up, so has the misdials.


Enhanced 911 has helped the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department address these calls more efficiently according to Joski. 



As we come to the end of 2019, I thought I would use this article as well as the next few as a format to share some yearend statistics on the various components of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department. While I will still produce an annual report to share with the community, this may provide a more direct source of information to the community that we serve.

         I would like to begin by going over some numbers from the perspective of our Dispatch center. The Kewaunee County Dispatch Center serves as the primary answering point for all 911 and other emergency calls throughout Kewaunee County. We also dispatch and page for all of our local Fire EMS and Law Enforcement agencies. We are unique in Kewaunee County that we dual role our staff as both Dispatchers and Jailers. In most other counties there are two dedicated Jailers and two dedicated Dispatchers. Kewaunee County has financially benefitted from this arrangement for years, and it is a testament to the quality of our staff that they are able maintain a high level of effectiveness and proficiency in both of these areas.

         In 2019 to date we have handled 9,484 calls for service, which projects to over 10,300 calls before the year’s end. I would like to go over some of the most common calls which we receive and some background to the nature of these calls.

        The highest frequency of calls that we receive are categorized as “Rescue Calls” which account for 1,108 so far this year. These calls range from citizens who may be in their homes experiencing medical emergencies to patients at local clinics who are in need of transport due to a medical emergency. In each of these calls our dispatchers lay an important role in obtaining vital information about the patient and then following up with the appropriate response based on location and sense of urgency.

        The next most frequent are 911 hang ups. These are many times accidental mis-dials which require follow up either by our dispatcher or in many cases actually sending an officer to the location where the call came from. Thanks to enhanced 911 we are able to determine the location of these calls in the event that the caller is unable to provide location information. If these calls are determined to be legitimate calls for service their status is then changed to reflect the nature of that incident. So far in 2019 we have handled 820 calls of this nature.

         Following 911 hang ups is the category of “Citizen Assist” which account for 435 calls thus far. These calls range in nature from assisting people who have locked themselves out of their homes to assisting with civil matters where law enforcement is asked to be present during a volatile situation.

         “Traffic Offenses” are next with 396 calls so far this year. These types of calls have been on the increase since the advent of cell phones as members of our community serve as an extra set of eyes out on the roads. These calls are greatly appreciated and send a clear message that we are all holding each other accountable as motorists. We would just ask that if you do call in a traffic offense to do it in a safe manner that does not jeopardize your own safety or cause you to be distracted from your own driving.

          Another category of calls we have seen an increase in are the “Animal Problem” at 354. These are unfortunate situations which typically result from the actual or perceived lack of care that an animal is receiving or the lack of control that an animal owner is maintaining over their pets. These types of calls can be easily reduced by those of us who own pets being a more attentive and responsible pet owner.

         The last two that I will cover came in with very close numbers. “Welfare Checks” at 282 and “Suspicious Activity” at 316. Actual these two are very similar in that the caller is concerned about the activity of either someone they know and would like them checked on or someone they do not know and want us to investigate. In either circumstance these again are very important calls and show that our community is involved in the well being and security of their community.

           If you would like to know more about what we do at the Kewaunee County Dispatch Center, please do not hesitate to contact our department. We can even arrange for a tour. Next week, I will be covering some of our jail data, and share some of the many duties which we serve in maintaining our local facility.



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