- Car crash with injuries
- Currently happening home invasion
- Domestic violence
- Person spotted with weapon
- Fight or riot
- Medical emergencies
Inappropriate uses of 9-1-1
- Barking dogs
- Burglarized property
- Power outages
- Drug sales
- Loud parties
- Weather or road conditions
- Legal advice
- Keys locked in vehicle
- Car trouble
Despite the knowledge people have that 9-1-1 is an emergency number, most of the calls received are not emergencies. When people call in for trivial things, it ties up the lines and prevents real emergency calls from getting through.
The worst time to work was during major storms. Everyone would start calling in to get weather reports, ask when their power would come back on and inquire about what roads were passable. While trying to get these idiots off the phone, there is a surge of real emergencies happening. Cars are sliding off the road. Fires are breaking out. Power lines are going down. However, the lines are tied up with non-emergency questions often causing us to be unaware of actual situations that require our attention.
Despite how frustrating the non-emergency calls could be, sometimes they were quite entertaining. I never ceased to be amazed at the reasons people would call in. Here is a sampling of some of them I can remember. Some were actual emergencies, but most were not.
"Do you mean they're barking?"
"No, it hasn't gotten that far yet."
"Is it illegal for my neighbor to install a security camera and point it at my house?"
"I have told my son to go to bed three times and he won't do it. Please send an officer out to talk to him."
"Without asking me, my doctor implanted a device in my arm so I can be tracked by the CIA. That's illegal, right? Can I press charges?"
"My son is 14 and had a headache. I gave him some aspirin, but..."
"But what, sir. Is your son alright?"
"I swear I thought it was aspirin."
"What did you give him, sir?"
"It was my Viagra. His erection just hit the four hour mark where the commercials say you should seek help. He's crying that it hurts. What do I do?"
"The 12 year old kid up the street rides by my house every morning on his way to school. I have told him to go another way, but he keeps doing it. I don't want him on my street."
After several calls we went out to investigate. The kid's crime? He was black.
"The sun reflected off the metal trailer of the semi that just passed and blinded me. Get someone out here to stop him before he kills someone!"
"If a dog craps in my yard without my permission, am I allowed to shoot it?"
"I have a restraining order against my husband and every time I call him, he answers. He has caller ID and knows it's me. He's not supposed to be talking to me. Arrest him."
The guy across the street says the cops are on their way to arrest me for having sex in my front yard. I pay property taxes and can do what I want in my yard. It's my yard and my wife.
"I came home from work and found half a car in the ditch in front of my house. Can I keep it?
"I came home from work and caught my daughter having a naked video chat with someone on my XBOX. Can you tell me how to find out who it was?"
"Every week on trash day, my neighbor puts her trash can right next to mine. I don't want her garbage associated with my house."
"My girlfriend told me I couldn't do cocaine in the bedroom anymore. Can she say that since it is my house?"
My neighbor's dog attacked my cat again. I killed it and threw it through his bedroom window. Who do I report this to?
"Send the cops here now! Seven lesbians just jumped out of my daughter's window."
"My daughter just called me and said her boyfriend is beating her up!"
"What is the address?"
"Aberdeen. Please hurry!"
"Sorry, but we don't have an Aberdeen Street."
"No. Aberdeen, Texas!"
"Some Indian guy just called here and asked for my social security number. I gave it to him and now my husband says I should call you to find out who it was."
"Please send an ambulance. My husband has a deep cut on his stomach."
"I'll send one right away. How did he get cut, ma'am?"
"Well...I stabbed him."
I loved that job, but it really knocked down my already low opinion of humanity.