People Search Google For Dialing The Police. Why Not 911?

Jan 20, 2011 • 8:42 am | comments (13) by | Filed Under Google Maps

A Google Web Search Help thread has claims from a person who works at the San Angelo Finance Department that since December 1, 2010, he has been receiving several calls a day meant for the San Angelo Police Department.

This user said he reported the error to Google three times, starting back on December 1st. But Google has still yet to fix the issue.

If you Google [San Angelo Police Department] you get the wrong phone number. You get the phone number to his desk at the Finance Department. The correct number is 325-657-4498 and not what is listed there. Here is a screen shot:

Google Maps Police Bug

This person fields several calls per day from people trying to call the police. One example this person gave was very sad:

17 more calls today. The listing is still wrong. I had a rape victim call and leave a voicemail after hours that her offender was harassing her. 14 hours after she left it I picked it up and was able to forward it to the police. I am not exaggerating.

Can you imagine!

What I do not fully understand is why someone who needs the police would go to Google and search for the phone number. Doesn't 911 work? Why don't people just dial 911? Why doesn't Google just list all police stations as a secondary or even primary number in the U.S. as 911?

This is not the first time we have seen Google Maps mess with emergencies. They have sent people to the wrong hospital in the past.

I am probably over simplifying this, so feel free to rant in the comments.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

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