Peel’s 911 system in the first two months of this year alone has been inundated with non-emergency calls which constituted 36 per cent of all calls. The emergency number is being misused and needs to stop.
In January and February Peel Regional Police 911 operators fielded 65,547 calls and of those 28,298 (36 per cent) were not emergency calls and should have been handled in another way.
According to a media report, a 911 operator gave some examples of the kind of calls she’s received- Some calls were to find out how to become a police officer. Others called for help on starting their oven, fully expecting the operator to walk them through the process.
This stuff cannot be made up. Some people who have forgotten their passwords for their smartphones or computers, called the police to find out if they had a database to look up that information.
And some calls were from people wanting to know the non-emergency number (905-453-3311) for police “and then because they don’t have a pen, they hang up saying they will Google it instead.”
Every non-emergency call to 911 delays the response time for police officers, firefighters and paramedics to real emergencies.
Clearly this is a case of residents not knowing what 911 is for because these are not mischievous calls but from residents who have no clue.
So, for all those out there who may be wondering when they need to use the 911 option here is what you should know.
A 9-1-1 emergency is one that has just happened. It could be a theft in progress, or someone trying to break into a car, it’s could be a fire and it’s someone in immediate danger and needing medical attention.
If it happened yesterday or you thought about it for a few hours first, it is not an emergency. Consider using the non-emergency number by calling 905-453-3311.
Police say anyone calling in a real emergency should also tell the operator where they are. Calling on a cellphone doesn’t pinpoint your location. -CINEWS