There are a few things to know about cellular telephones disconnected from cellular service when calling in on 911. A disconnected or inactive cell phone can still dial 911. If it powers ON, then it can call 911. The disconnected phone does not have a valid phone number and if the call is interrupted, we cannot call you back if you have an emergency. You will have to call us back so it is important to stay on the line and not hang up. However, we may still be able to get your location. If we are able to get the cellular phone's location, a police officer will respond to your location.
Accidental Calls to 911 are possible and we understand that as well. If you call in to 911 by accident, please do not hang-up. Stay on the line and tell the operator that it was an accidental dial. You will receive a call back if you hang up, even if you think the call did not have time to go through. It is a good idea to keep your cellular telephone screen locked when not in use to prevent this from happening.
If you are going to give your old cellular telephone to a child to play with as a toy, please remove the battery so the phone does not accidentally dial 911. Batteries in these devices pose a health and or explosive risk. Please take the battery to an authorized recycle facility.
The Bentonville Police Department's Telecommunications Center is assisting with a 911 Cell Phone Trade in Program as a way to prevent accidental 911 calls by children and a way to help others. Accidental calls from disconnected "toy" cellular phones can tie up emergency lines, preventing actual emergency 911 calls from getting through. Old, disconnected, even non-working cell phones may be "traded in" for a new toy (when supplies are available) or donated. The partnering company can refurbish or use these phones as parts and distribute the phones for persons needing an emergency communication device.