Suffolk Police Warns of Rare Android Phone Glitch Disconnecting 911 Calls

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A small number of Android device users are having issues connecting to 911 due to a nationwide glitch in Android’s operating system, Suffolk County Police alerted residents on Monday.

The police department issued a news release explaining that the glitch only impacts Android phone users who have the Microsoft Teams app installed on their device but are not logged into it. An unintended interaction between the app and the phone’s operating system, from Android 10 and later, is causing connection issues when users dial 911.

“When a user attempts to call 911, the phone will ring once, sound as if the line is busy or that the call is going unanswered,” police officials said. “The call will not show up in outgoing call logs.”

According to Suffolk Police, Google, which owns Android, said it will release a fix to the operating system glitch on Jan. 4. The issue is impacting only the Android 10 or later versions of the operating system. 

The issue calling 911 was first reported by an Android user on Reddit who tried calling 911 in an emergency and was not able to get through.

“Because this issue impacts emergency calling, both Google and Microsoft are heavily prioritizing the issue – as always we suggest users keep an eye out for app updates to ensure they are running the latest version,” Google responded in a statement on the Reddit thread, noting later that Microsoft has released an update of the Microsoft Teams app.

Police and Google recommend that all Android users take the following steps to ensure calls to 911 can be made on their phone:

  • Check if the device is running Android 10 or above. Only users on Android 10 or later versions are potentially impacted.

  • If Microsoft Teams is downloaded, check if you are signed in. Only those who have the app downloaded but are not signed in are impacted. 

  • If you are signed in to Teams, stay signed in and update the app to the latest version. 

  • If you are not signed in to Teams, uninstall and then reinstall the app, using the latest version of Teams.

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