Canadian Police Release List of 10 calls that “Missed the Mark” in 2022

Jonathan Buscher


(RCMP), based in the West Canadian province of Saskatchewan, provides crucial services to the community regarding public safety. Within the organization, dispatchers also play an important role in both taking calls and supporting the safety of police officers. Throughout 2022, the department received a total of 352,854 calls, many of which were used to report incidents in the local area. However, scattered among these important calls, were a blend of unnecessary contacts, ranging from prank calls, misdials, and many more. 

In early January of this year, RCMP released a report and article detailing the top 10 calls that were unessential (and somewhat humorous) of the year. While this article certainly had some absurd conversations listed, the importance of avoiding calls to 911 unless absolutely necessary was also highlighted. Lee Rosin, a Recruiter and Training Facilitator for the Operational Communication Centre at RCMP: Saskatchewan, noted that “We release the list to raise awareness about the misuse of 911, which can possibly delay someone experiencing a life-threatening emergency from getting help.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is the police force acting in the Saskatchewan province, servicing 911 callers

Some absurd stories however did come out of the article’s list, including an individual who called operations regarding the name of an RCMP member to inquire about their family at number ten, someone who didn’t want to be on hold when told to pick up RCMP papers at number nine, and a caller with the extreme bad luck of swallowing a mosquito and losing their dentures, making them unable to eat dinner for number eight. Coming after this were several other interesting stories including an individual who said they paid $65 for takeout just to have their roommate eat it, a caller who needed help deleting a voicemail off their phone and someone who was angry that a store manager wouldn’t allow them to return used winter boots. The silver medal of the list went to someone who complained about being out of milk, requesting that the RCMP pick some up for them. Finally, the number one spot on the “missed the mark” calls list went to “Scrub-a-dub-dub,” the title given by the RCMP, where someone called 911 saying that the water in their bathtub wouldn’t go down because the drain was clogged. 

The reason that calls like this are such an issue is that they could potentially be harmful to another individual encountering a dangerous situation. This aspect, as was highlighted earlier by Lee Rosin, was addressed again, reminding locals to, “Before dialing 911, please remember that calling the police should be reserved for police-related matters only and calling 911 should be reserved for life-threatening emergencies only.” While there will always be some portion of prank callers and over-exaggerated situations, RCMP is hoping that this article and announcement will help to prevent a higher proportion of these incidents in the future, as people begin to realize how detrimental seemingly innocent prank calls can be.