If you’ve ever run out of milk and considered asking the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan to be your grocers, you might want to reconsider.
The RCMP said the request was one of 10 calls to 911 dispatchers in 2022 that made the annual list of police departments “missed the mark.”
“We are posting the list to raise awareness of the misuse of 911, which can potentially delay someone facing a life-threatening emergency from getting help.” says Lee Rosin, recruiter and training facilitator for the Saskatchewan RCMP’s Operational Communications Center, or OCC, the call center that handles 911 calls from residents across Saskatchewan.
“Every moment we spend speaking with someone complaining about their shopping experience or wanting to prank 911 is a time when the operators and agents could have helped someone in a life-threatening situation” , Rosin said in a GRC on Thursday. Press release.
Here are the 10 calls the RCMP say “missed the mark” last year (plus the police department’s “punny” headlines).
The way of memory
“A caller asked the OCC operators if they knew the name of the polite RCMP officer who had served in their community,” the RCMP news release read.
“The caller was hoping for an update to see how the officer’s family was doing. While well meaning, this would certainly not be considered an emergency.”
Dispatchers “received a call from a person who did not want to be put on hold after being told they needed to pick up documents from their local RCMP detachment.”
“A caller informed OCC operators that they had swallowed a mosquito, choked and lost their dentures, preventing them from having supper.”
Did you ring?
“One person has indicated that they need help deleting a voicemail from their phone.”
This is not a hotline
“An individual called 911 to report that there was a cougar on the loose in his town. When the operator asked for details about the cougar, the caller laughed and said the cougar’s name was ‘Cindy. ‘
“The overuse of 911 can potentially delay getting help to someone facing a life-threatening emergency. Before dialing 911, remember that calling the police should be limited to matters related to police only and that 911 should be reserved for life-threatening emergencies only.”
“A caller advised that he had purchased $65 in fast food, only to find that his roommate had eaten the order. The caller requested that an RCMP officer come and settle the dispute.”
Here, kitty kitty
“A concerned person called about a hostile cat and asked an RCMP officer to take it to the local animal shelter for them.”
Can we talk about it?
“An argument at a clothing store resulted in a 911 call. A customer was very upset with the store manager, who refused to accept the return of previously worn winter boots.”
“A caller indicated that they were out of milk and asked the RCMP officers to buy some for them.”
“A concerned person called 911 to report that his bathtub drain was clogged and the water was not coming down.”