The invention of the cell phone is making life busier for police departments, including the Decorah Police Department.
Before cell phones, witness to an accident had to find a phone in order to contact police. Now, says Decorah Police Chief Bill Nixon, "The dispatcher is getting perhaps ten phone calls per incident."
Decorah police received 3,879 9-1-1 calls during 2011—an average of 323 calls a month. But there were 384 9-1-1 calls in October and 406 9-1-1 calls in November. By comparison, police received 3,145 9-1-1 calls in 2007--an average of 262 9-1-1 calls a month. "It's growing with the proliferation of cell phones," says Nixon.