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Mexicali’s New 911 Number!

Mexico's logo for its new 911 number

Mexico’s logo for its new 911 number

Calexico Police Dispatcher Leopoldo Miramon reported that they’re having a lot of problems with the emergency 911 number. This has been caused by Mexicali’s implementation of its own 911 emergency number.

Here is an example: “911. Where is your emergency? Hello. Do you have an emergency? For instance, they hung up,” Miramon said as he hung up the phone.

Miramon said that may have been somebody from Mexicali calling Mexicali’s new 911 number and getting Calexico by mistake. And it’s happening a lot and creating a problem.

“They’ve extremely backed up the system itself. We only have three emergency lines at this time, which is enough for a small city like Calexico. However, now that Mexicali has converted over to the 911 system where they’re not using the old 066 number any longer, we get multiple calls,” Miramon said.

Lieutenant Gonzalo Gerardo explains it all began about three months ago when Mexico changed their emergency number. “If they’re in the proximity of the antenna, it’ll pick up their cell phone 911 and it comes to us here in Calexico,” Gerardo said.

This can affect Calexico residents as Mexicali is a large city of nearly a million residents and generates lots of 911 calls..

“So, at that point you’re going to tap all our 911 lines with calls from Mexicali. And if somebody from the U.S. is trying to get through with a medical call or something like that, it’s going to delay us answering their calls because we’re busy answering the 911s from Mexico,” Gerardo said.

The mix-up affects Mexicali residents as well. “They call 911, they hear us asking 911 in English, and they’ll hang up,” Miramon said, pointing to the call that had just come during our interview.

Police are working with telecommunication providers to solve the problem. Police ask the public to use 911 exclusively for emergencies or face negative consequences.

“It could be subject to arrest. And it’s happened in the past,” Miramon said.

Miramon went on to explain that if a person continues to use 911 for any other purpose than an emergency in progress, that person could face arrest. To keep 911 lines open for real emergencies is a matter of life and death, he said.

Still, the calls from Mexicali are apparently honest mistakes as the use of the 911 number is new to Mexicali.

As recently as November 15, 2016, a joint training session was carried out for the use of the new 911 emergency number in Mexicali between the Directorate of Private Security Services (DSSP) and the Control, Command, Communication and Computation Center (C4) in Mexicali.

The DSSP Director, César Román Díaz López, said that in coordination with C4’s Deputy Director of Operations, Sergio García Aceves carried out this training to provide emergency 911 training tools to entrepreneurs, which will allow them to help the public.

During the joint training session, 30 private security firms were explained the functions of the new 911 number and told to spread the word.

The private security firms were instructed that 911 is intended for emergency calls, where a person’s life or property may be at imminent risk; While 089 is for anonymous complaints requiring investigation, which are channeled to the corresponding authorities.

Baja California is among the 16 States of the Mexico to begin the transition to the new 911 number.

The use of 911 in Mexico is a blessing for visitors from the United States, as they have another tool for safety in Mexico.

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