Hamilton Police have put together a list of craziest 911 calls they received in 2019 as a reminder that 911 is for emergencies. In 2019, Hamilton Police fielded 195,000 911 calls – nearly one-third of those were not emergency calls.
What are some of the weirder non-emergency calls Hamilton’s communications operators received in 2019.
- A forensics person to assist with identifying spiders in the basement
- Someone asking for cigarettes
- Putting out an Amber Alert for a stolen puppy
- Helping locate keys lost in a drain
- Changing a bad carpet
- Mice in an apartment
- Help in calling a taxi
- TV isn’t working and an important game is on
- Cold raccoon
- Locking keys in the car
Non-emergency calls take up valuable resources and potentially delay responding to those individuals in a genuine emergency. A 911 emergency is when someone needs help right away because of an injury or an immediate danger.
In 2019, Hamilton Police also charged a 70-year-old man after he called 911 to complain about an Amber Alert. The Amber Alert was issued by Niagara Regional Police Service in response to five missing children. The male called indicating he did not have an emergency and was angry about receiving the Amber Alert on his phone.
Hamilton communications operators are also dealing with a high volume of pocket dials. Approximately 45,000 calls are abandoned before they are answered, which means an operator must call back and verify there is no emergency. The volume is so high, Hamilton Police have had to assign a full-time staff member to respond to all abandoned calls.
If you have called 911 accidentally, it’s important to stay on the line to speak to an operator to explain the error. Every 911 call is taken seriously, so explaining the mistake will eliminate the need for the emergency operator to call back. It is also important to ensure all cell phones are locked to avoid accidentally calling 911.
For non-urgent cases, such as reporting a noise complaint, callers should use the non-emergency line at 905-546-4925 or visit the website at www.hamiltonpolice.on.ca.
Source: Hamilton Police Service