Woman accused of making false 911 calls arrested

Jheri L. Polite (Columbia Police Department)

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) – The Columbia Police and Lexington County Sheriff’s Departments say they’ve arrested the woman accused of making a string of recent fake 911 calls.

Thirty-two-year-old Jheri L. Polite is being charged with making the fake calls and faces 31 counts of unlawful use of 911 between the two agencies.

Twelve counts are coming from the Columbia Police Department while the other 19 counts are coming from the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.

“False alarms not only put our officers at risk in their efforts to respond to emergency calls, they put the public at risk as well," Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said. "The calls also prevent officers from being available for real emergencies.”

Polite was arrested Wednesday night at her 4501 Bentley Drive residence, the same place where the Columbia Police Department calls came from.

Lexington County investigators have tracked 14 fake 9-1-1 calls to a St. Andrews business where Polite was employed, according to the department.

During a lengthy interview yesterday, CPD investigators determined that Polite made the calls during various times of the day; some early in the morning, during the day or late at night.

Each time, officers and deputies responded to investigate the calls for service ranging from home burglaries, threats of suicide, a bomb threat, shootings and homicides.

Polite was found to be in possession of the cell phone that she allegedly used to make the phony emergency calls – a Blackberry uninitiated (non-active) phone which means that it doesn’t have a service provider. The phone only has 9-1-1 capabilities.

Details are still limited, but more information is expected from both agencies.

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