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False Crime Reports Begin Days After Douglas County Launches 'Text To 911' Service


Not even a full week into its new ‘text to 911’ service, Douglas County authorities have arrested a Roseburg woman for using it to make false reports.

Last Wednesday, 911 dispatchers got a text saying there was a hostage situation in a Roseburg neighborhood. 

Then came more text messages, reporting a mass murder.

Sergeant Brad O’Dell of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office shares what happened next.

“Through technology and police work, we were able to identify where the call was occurring," O'Dell tells KLCC.  "We made contact with an individual.  She had turned her phone off by that point, but we were able to prove that she was the one who had sent these messages, and we were able to determine that there was no emergency and that it was false.”

Credit Douglas County Sheriff's Office
Booking photo of Nicole Rene Hall, of Roseburg.

34-year-old Nicole Hall of Roseburg was taken into custody, and charged with improper use of 911 and disorderly conduct.

Sergeant O’Dell says the texting service was announced five days earlier. He says it’s ideal for people in domestic violence or home invasion situations, where speaking could endanger the caller.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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