Apple is working with local police to remedy a surge in unintentional emergency calls to 911 that are originating from the company’s distribution and repair center in Elk Grove, California. The influx of calls has been ongoing for months, averaging 20 accidental calls a day and totaling over 1,600 since October. 911 dispatchers hear silence and intermittent employee chatter when the calls come in.
“We take this seriously and are working with local law enforcement to investigate the cause and ensure this doesn’t continue,” an Apple spokesperson told CBS 13 Sacramento. The company is urgently working to stop further calls and distractions for dispatch employees dealing with real emergencies throughout the day. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Communication Center has also been on the receiving end, tallying 47 calls from Apple’s Elk Grove facility since the start of the year.
“The times when it’s greatly impacting us is when we have other emergencies happening and we may have a dispatcher on another 911 call that may have to put that call on hold to triage the incoming call,” police dispatcher Jamie Hudson told CBS. But police have clearly stated that “public safety is not in danger” due to the situation.
Apple hasn’t confirmed which device or devices are placing the 911 calls. Both the iPhone and Apple Watch have an Emergency SOS mode that can dial emergency services with a few taps. That feature has been credited with saving lives, but it’s not clear whether it’s tied to this problem. The company’s large distribution/repair facility is located on Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove.