You’re Calling 9-1-1 … Seriously?
Hamilton Police want to remind the public that 911 is for emergencies – not to ask the police to respond to a cold fast food order. In 2018, Hamilton Police fielded 195,000 calls – nearly one-third of those were not emergency calls.
Here is a look at the top 2018 non-emergency calls fielded by Hamilton’s communications operators.
- Checking to see what time it is
- Reporting a hacked Facebook account
- Assault by a humping dog
- Reporting a sick cat
- Asking if the Beer Store is open
- A noise coming from a lightbulb
- A cat in front of the house
- When Canada Day fireworks are taking place
- A discrepancy in retail pricing
- Cold McDonald’s food
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.
Hamilton communications operators are also dealing with a high volume of pocket dials. Approximately 4500 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.