Reverse 911 Calls Are Not Fun To Get At 2 AM

    April 19, 2014

A series of reverse 911 calls has apparently gotten under the skin of quite a few Virginia Beach residents.

From the thousands of complaints that followed the early morning message, it’s safe to say the affected are not morning people!

Following a major accident that lead to the closure of the 500 block of Sandbridge road on Wednesday evening, officials wanted to inform certain people of when the road would be available once more.

The reverse 911 call was meant to inform the nearby 175 households about the road’s scheduled reopening.

Instead a call was made to a whopping 99,895 households in the middle of the night.


The Emergency Communications and Citizens Services department is said to be reviewing the situation due to the numerous complaints. The organization is responsible for managing the area’s 911 and 311 calls.

Lori Stiles, 911 operations center manager, said of the reverse 911 calls that early investigative efforts suggest the mistake stemmed from an avoidable error.

Following the massive outcry regarding the 2 am calls, the Virginia Beach police posted a statement to their Facebook page:

As many of you know officers of VBPD investigated a tragic accident on Sandbridge Road last night (Wednesday, April 16). Because of the extensive investigation taking place and due to the fact that Fire, EMS, and VBPD needed the road cleared for their uninhabited access, the road had to be shut down.

At 2 a.m. on Thursday, April 17, 2014 a reverse 911 call was made to notify residents that Sandbridge Road had been reopened. This message was intended for a very small portion of the city, particular those in the Sandbridge area. This message obviously went beyond that target audience.

We ask for patience from everyone as this matter is being looked into. Please keep in mind this is a tool for public safety and is used to benefit the public as well as first responders who deal with such emergencies.

The police also mentioned the outpouring of complaints on their official Twitter account:

What do YOU think: Are these complaints legitimate or are these people just being big babies? Share in the comments below!

Image via Wikimedia Commons