The Saskatchewan RCMP released their list of calls to 911 that missed the mark in 2021. The top ten list, which comes out every year, illustrates calls that were not emergencies.
Last year, the RCMP’s Divisional Operations Communication Centre received a total of 350,667 calls, up by 8.5 percent from 2020. Calls ranged from serious incidents regarding matters of public safety, mid-dials and false alarms.
Here is the list, directly from the Saskatchewan RCMP, of their top ten calls that missed the mark:
1. Helpdesk – A call was received from a concerned individual whose laptop had suddenly stopped working. The caller requested an RCMP officer attend to their home and fix it.
2. Theft – 9-1-1 dispatchers received a call from a person wanting to report what was determined to be a romantic gesture - that their spouse had stolen their heart. (Remember: there are other ways to report non-urgent theft – though not of one’s heart – such as by calling your local police or RCMP directly or by using our Online Crime Reporting tool)
3. Fishing in the dark – An angler had located a shopping cart in the water while out fishing and wanted an RCMP officer to return the cart to the store it came from.
4. Not sleepy – A frustrated grandparent called 9-1-1 and complained that their not-so-sleepy grandchild was refusing to go to bed. The caller was hoping an RCMP officer could persuade the child to go to sleep.
5. Just hear meowt – A 9-1-1 caller advised they had seen some “suspicious activity” in the community. This caller was concerned about two cats that had been hanging around an intersection close to the caller’s home over the last few days.
6. Lost and found – After a great day of golfing, a 9-1-1 caller realized that their cell phone had been left at the golf course and was requesting that an RCMP officer retrieve the cell phone for them.
7. Hangry – A 9-1-1 call was received from a hangry caller as they were having technical difficulties making their lunch purchase on a restaurant’s debit card machine.
8. Gummy bear – One concerned puppy parent had called 9-1-1 looking for help from an RCMP officer as their dog had gotten into the caller’s edibles. (This one may constitute an emergency, just not for 9-1-1! If you suspect your pet has gotten into something dangerous to them, call your local vet or animal emergency medical centre.)
9. Upgraded room – This caller wanted to share with 9-1-1 dispatchers that the RCMP had a much nicer detention area than that at their local police station.
10. Time flies –A caller was wanting to know what day it was. (9-1-1 Dispatchers know how easy it is to lose track of time as they’re typically very busy answering calls for service; however, this certainly would not be considered an emergency.)
In releasing the list, the RCMP took the opportunity to remind the public that the misuse of 911 can delay someone experiencing a life-threatening emergency from getting help. They ask that calling the police should be reserved for police-related matters, and calling 911 should be reserved for life-threatening emergencies only.