Will Siri actually call the police (emergency services)?

jmurp

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 10, 2014
10
2
I read somewhere Siri will not dial 911 when asked to. As a test, I asked Siri to dial 611. Siri said, sorry, I can't do that. So I asked Siri to call the police. The response was, "Calling emergency services in five seconds." I selected cancel at that point.

Has anybody tried this without selecting cancel? If so, did Siri call the police?
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,196
465
NJ
seriously???

it seemed to clearly state it was about to. good enough for me. and stop messing around with it. calling 911 when it doesnt actually pertain to an emergency could lead to fines in some jurisdictions. trust it will, im sure apple wouldnt have overlooked this if they designed it to.
 
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old-wiz

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
8,318
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The emergency people are reasonable - I tested the feature and when they answered explained I just got a new phone with siri and wanted to make sure it worked now rather than when I was in an actual emergency. they said it was fine, and we ended the call.
 
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sulpfiction

macrumors 68040
Aug 16, 2011
3,052
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Philadelphia Area
seriously???

it seemed to clearly state it was about to. good enough for me. and stop messing around with it. calling 911 when it doesnt actually pertain to an emergency could lead to fines in some jurisdictions. trust it will, im sure apple wouldnt have overlooked this if they designed it to.
WRONG!

Relax bro! You can absolutely call 911 to test if a device is working properly. And NO, you would not be fined in ANY jurisdiction for doing so.
 

njsapple2012

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2012
49
1
It's a new feature in iOS 7.

Before if I said to Siri "Call me an Ambulance" he'd reply "You'd like to call you "an Ambulance?"

If I replied "yes" he said "OK. I'll call you 'An Ambulance' from now on."
 
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dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,196
465
NJ
WRONG!

Relax bro! You can absolutely call 911 to test if a device is working properly. And NO, you would not be fined in ANY jurisdiction for doing so.
Our department gets error 911 calls all the time and it's a pain in the ass. 90% of them are cell phone pocket misdials or kids plating with a phone. We are required to send and officer to each call to verify everything is ok. Please don't dial 911 to test it. And most of the time, even when you hang up quickly, the call still registers. It's a waste of resources and some departments do fine for the misuse of 911.

It's defined in NJ Title 2C:33-3e False Public Alarm

e. A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly places a call to a 9-1-1 emergency telephone system without purpose of reporting the need for 9-1-1 service.

http://law.onecle.com/new-jersey/2c-the-new-jersey-code-of-criminal-justice/33-3.html
 
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SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
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In some jurisdictions is okay to test calling 9-1-1, but it's always better to call the non-emergency number first and ask. The dispatcher will let you know if it's a good time to try it or not, depending on the call volume at the time.
 
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dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
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Yes it does now, but only iOS 7.

Surprisingly I still can't call customer service with it :confused:
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,196
465
NJ
In some jurisdictions is okay to test calling 9-1-1, but it's always better to call the non-emergency number first and ask. The dispatcher will let you know if it's a good time to try it or not, depending on the call volume at the time.
Some 911 call centers or PSAPs aren't even located at the same site where police non emergency phone number answering points are located. They could be in a different town or even a county away. People shouldn't have to test dial 911. Any mobile phone, active on an account or not, is required by law to have the ability to dial an emergency number.
 

SandboxGeneral

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Sep 8, 2010
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Some 911 call centers or PSAPs aren't even located at the same site where police non emergency phone number answering points are located. They could be in a different town or even a county away. People shouldn't have to test dial 911. Any mobile phone, active on an account or not, is required by law to have the ability to dial an emergency number.
That's correct. However when senior citizens get "9-1-1" phones, just cell phones with no service, they like to call and test them to ensure that it will call 9-1-1 properly; it's just a piece of mind assurance for them, and still good to check it's functionality.

I doubt many, if any, PSAP's will prosecute someone for testing 9-1-1. It would have to become a repeated problem with an individual in order for it to become misuse and justify a prosecutor's time in attempting to convict someone of it.
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,196
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NJ
That's correct. However when senior citizens get "9-1-1" phones, just cell phones with no service, they like to call and test them to ensure that it will call 9-1-1 properly; it's just a piece of mind assurance for them, and still good to check it's functionality.

I doubt many, if any, PSAP's will prosecute someone for testing 9-1-1. It would have to become a repeated problem with an individual in order for it to become misuse and justify a prosecutor's time in attempting to convict someone of it.
we get those 911 calls too. those non-functioning phones, usually donated through some county or state level recycling program, have 911-xxx-xxxx type phone numbers what show up on the ALI screen and are not able to be called back, for obvious reasons. I'm fairly certain all of those phones are certified through the program and testing them by the end user isn't necessary. however, you're right that no one would probably fine an elderly person for doing so. I have personally received 911 calls at our police department when sitting the desk from residents showing their kids how to dial 911 in case of emergency. now, I'm all for that, but what people don't realize is there is usually a failsafe worked into the whole system. calling and then hanging up quickly on a cellphone or partially dialing 911 on a land line can still register with the network and process as a 911 attempt. this in turn, depending on local protocols, usually will require a callback and response. this stems from the possibility the person can be under duress and telling the EMD that there is no issue when there really is. the bottom line i was trying to convey to the OP, is that I'm 100% certain siri will dial 911 when prompted to do so. in his post, he even said it was going to dial emergency services in 5 seconds. there is no reason whatsoever he should let the call complete, for his amusement.

and we have our fair share of habitual offenders in our town who dial 911 all the time with reasons ranging from the fact they missed the bus to the fact their verizon FIOS remote stopped working. when threatened they will be locked up on the above mentioned 2C charge, they stop. people abuse it and others are just careless with it. I'm just trying to save the OP's local police department the trouble of having to deal with yet another misdial or "test". the only real "911 tests" I've ever seen in all my years was when a bank was installing a new phone system. they called us ahead of time and told us what was going on. any 911 calls originating from that bank were being placed by an onsite tech, in the off hours, and our local PSAP was instructed to disregard them.
 

jmurp

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 10, 2014
10
2
The debate goes on

My post was not intended to spark a debate over the pros and cons of calling 911. I would never call 911 for amusement! I was home alone late at night and heard a noise outside. My husband was out of town, and I was scared. I needed to know for certain Siri would call the police if needed. I want to genuinely thank the people that replied to my post with positive and thoughtful comments.
 
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SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
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My post was not intended to spark a debate over the pros and cons of calling 911. I would never call 911 for amusement! I was home alone late at night and heard a noise outside. My husband was out of town, and I was scared. I needed to know for certain Siri would call the police if needed. I want to genuinely thank the people that replied to my post with positive and thoughtful comments.
I don't doubt that you wouldn't call for amusement purposes. If you hear something and it scares you, call, they're there to help you and testing, with their permission is always a good idea. I happen to be the deputy director of my county 9-1-1 center and we do this for folks all the time, gladly. :)
 
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jmurp

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 10, 2014
10
2
I don't doubt that you wouldn't call for amusement purposes. If you hear something and it scares you, call, they're there to help you and testing, with their permission is always a good idea. I happen to be the deputy director of my county 9-1-1 center and we do this for folks all the time, gladly. :)
Thank you for your kind words and support. Also, thank you for being there when people need you.
 
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cambookpro

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2010
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My post was not intended to spark a debate over the pros and cons of calling 911. I would never call 911 for amusement! I was home alone late at night and heard a noise outside. My husband was out of town, and I was scared. I needed to know for certain Siri would call the police if needed. I want to genuinely thank the people that replied to my post with positive and thoughtful comments.
Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't it easier just to type in three numbers than get Siri to do it and wait 5 seconds?
 

jmurp

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 10, 2014
10
2
Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't it easier just to type in three numbers than get Siri to do it and wait 5 seconds?

It's not necessarily 5 seconds. If you are in an emergency situation, please ask Siri to call the police. You will receive two options (cancel and call). I chose cancel. One person was kind enough to test the system so I know it actually works now. My phone is never set on keypad. Unfortunately, it would take me (as a new smart phone user) a whole lot longer to make that call. Siri does everything for me.
 

TJ61

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2011
811
3
It's not necessarily 5 seconds. If you are in an emergency situation, please ask Siri to call the police. You will receive two options (cancel and call). I chose cancel. One person was kind enough to test the system so I know it actually works now. My phone is never set on keypad. Unfortunately, it would take me (as a new smart phone user) a whole lot longer to make that call. Siri does everything for me.
That's gonna suck when you hear "I'm really sorry about this, but I can't take any requests right now."
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
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Jacksonville, Florida
Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't it easier just to type in three numbers than get Siri to do it and wait 5 seconds?
Sometimes a person may be physically incapacitated and can not dial but can still speak.

I live alone and it is great that Siri can now call emergency services.

You never know when YOU might need it.
 

cambookpro

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2010
6,402
1,841
United Kingdom
Sometimes a person may be physically incapacitated and can not dial but can still speak.

I live alone and it is great that Siri can now call emergency services.

You never know when YOU might need it.
That is true - in all fairness, my post was made in 2014, before there was 'Hey Siri', it being available on the watch, ability to make calls via Continuity from iPad and Mac, etc. and being generally less reliable. I can probably see a much greater use for it now.
 
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