Ten 911 calls that shouldn’t have been made

Posted On Tuesday December 24, 2019

The New Year is a great time for making changes and the Ottawa Police Service would like to remind people to Make the Right Call, especially when using 9-1-1.

Here are examples of some calls our Communications Staff have received, that shouldn’t have come through 9-1-1.

  1. Checking to see if 911 works from the caller’s new cell phone
  2. To get the non-emergency phone number for the police service
  3. Complaining about Amber Alerts
  4. To report a minor collision
  5. To confirm Ottawa just experienced an earthquake
  6. To ask about road closures
  7. How to apply for a job to be a police officer
  8. To ask when power will be restored to the caller’s home
  9. Because their eight year old child won’t go to school
  10. To get an estimated time of arrival after the caller’s food delivery driver was delayed at a traffic stop

The goal of the 9-1-1 system is to quickly link the caller with the appropriate emergency service in the most urgent of situations i.e. a crime in progress or a life-threatening emergency.

Many people aren’t aware that 9-1-1 is a dedicated line. This means even if your call is not an emergency, the line to 9-1-1 remains occupied for as long as you are on the phone, even if we transfer your call.  During that time, someone else may not be able to get through to report an actual emergency. 

Make the Right Call:    

To contact the Ottawa Police Service for non-emergencies call 613-236-1222, extension 7300. A TTY service for the deaf, deafened and hard of hearing can be reached at 613-760-8100. You can also report a non-emergency and a non life-threatening crime online.

For after-hours or non-emergency issues pertaining to the City, you can dial 3-1-1.