JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Rock County Communications has been overwhelmed by prank calls this week. Janesville Police arrested a woman for making almost 40 false calls and the 911 Center says they've gotten about 100 more from kids.
"We happened to have two prank callers, that doesn't happen often at all," Communications Director Kathy Sukus says.
Authorities arrested 44-year-old Anna Farmer for 39 calls they say she made Tuesday evening. In call recordings released to 27 News, you can hear a woman ask for help and tell center employees she had fallen down.
"When you're talking about that number of calls for service in that amount of time, it's a burden," Janesville Police deputy Chief Danny Davis says.
Sukus says prank callers bombarding the phone lines could block or delay a call for a real emergency. "Everybody has to stop what they're doing because we don't know if there's a real emergency on the other line," she says. Dispatchers, who usually focus on the radios, we're forced to start answering phone calls this week when so many were coming in. "They were having to pick up the phones almost like when we get a bad accident on the interstate," Sukus says.
911 Center officials say the calls are coming in from deactivated phones, which means they can still call 911 but the numbers can't be traced. Their location, however, can be pinpointed to within about a block.
"While the officers were out there, one of the officers noticed that this one person seemed to show up at every one of the calls," Davis says about responding to the calls they suspect came from Farmer. He says officers investigated and were able to retrieve her phone, which was matched to the one used to make the calls.
Farmer made her initial appearance in Rock County court Wednesday. She faces two misdemeanors for making a false 911 call and resisting or obstructing an officer.
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