Fort Smith Police Prepared For Increase In 911 Calls Fourth Of July Weekend

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)- Fourth of July weekend is a busy time for everyone, but it is especially busy for local police departments.

Last year the Fort Smith Police Department said they received nearly triple the amount of 911 calls they get on a normal day.

“I think last year our official number [was] 2,877 total calls for the entire day," dispatcher Giselle Elmore said. "I think we`re pretty much expecting the same thing [this year].” Elmore said.

Elmore said the 911 calls come in for a variety of reasons.

“It`s anywhere between 'hey we've got kids shooting fireworks' to 'screaming at the top of their lungs,' that they`re annoyed that there are people shooting stuff, and they don`t know that it is,” Elmore said.

But no matter what the call is about, Elmore said officers will respond to everything.

“We just make sure that we keep them in the neighborhoods and let people know that we`re out there still responding to calls even though we`re still getting all these phone calls up here,” Elmore said.

Fort Smith Sergeant Daniel Grubbs said the Fourth of July is always a big day for the department.

“This happens every year, so we`re prepared,” Grubbs said. “The newer, younger tenured officers it`s going to be an experience for them. We do see a very large influx in calls for service, but we just learn how to manage it.”

Elmore said even though the number of calls increases the department treats it just like they would any another day.

“We have responded to a lot of disturbances last year, but I don`t think that as far as higher priority calls that it`s any different than a typical day or a typical holiday,” Elmore said.

Dispatchers and officers want people to know that every call is handled the same way, but they say you should only call 911 if you have a real emergency.

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