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News and Notes: Police system error

The Princeton Police Department discovered a flaw in its 9-1-1 system last week when a call could not be directed to a dispatcher, Planet Princeton reported. A town resident dialed 9-1-1 when he observed a man allegedly breaking into his neighbor’s car, and his cellular call was transferred to a disconnected number. When the man called again, he was connected to a dispatcher, but the burglar escaped before police arrived, according to the caller.

PPD acting chief Capt. Nick Sutter said that the cell tower had directed the call to the Hamilton Police Department, which transferred the call to the old Princeton Borough police number, because the state Office of Emergency Communications had not removed the old number from all state registries. The old Princeton Borough and Princeton Townships consolidated in 2013.

Sutter explained  that a cell tower in Hamilton may have picked up the original call because closer towers were too busy to handle an additional call. Sutter contacted the office, local police departments and Verizon about the problem and said no similar problems had been reported before or since.

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