Police are reminding parents to tell their kids that 911 is only for emergencies after a young girl called the cops because she didn’t want to clean her room. On Saturday afternoon around 3:45 p.m., the Norfolk detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police responded to a call in Simcoe, Ontario only to find that it was placed by a nine-year-old who was upset with her parents.
“She didn’t like the fact her mother told her to clean her room so she contacted authorities,” reported Constable Ed Sanchuk.
While the incident seems humorous, police explain that calls like these waste a lot of precious time and resources. “Whether false alarms are intentional or unintentional, they tie up the phone lines at the communications center, waste taxpayer money, tie up law enforcement officers and threaten lives,” said Sanchuk.
According to the constable, each 911 call takes at least 30 minutes for two officers to investigate. “We’re just asking people to use some common sense,” he noted, adding that when someone calls in a non-emergency (which his department receives every day), they’re “threatening the lives of people who need assistance and taking the dispatcher away from taking legitimate calls.”
As a result of Saturday’s false alarm, the Ontario Provincial Police is urging parents to discuss what constitutes an emergency with their kids. The department also provided tips for how people of all ages can prevent future misdials, like by keeping phones locked and by remaining on the line if someone accidentally does call 911 so the dispatcher doesn’t have to send officers.
Ontario’s Peel Regional Police says that less than 60 percent of their 911 calls are actual emergencies. Because it’s such a serious issue, officers warn parents that multiple misdials can result in a mischief charge.