9-year-old girl calls 911 to report parents after she was asked to clean her room
Police rushed to a residence in Simcoe, Ontario, after a 911 call only to find it was a false alarm and that there was no emergency
Parenting can be tricky as two parents from Simcoe, Ontario, recently found out after their nine-year-old called 911 on them because she was asked to clean her room. The incident came to light after the Ontario Provincial Police's (OPP) Norfolk Detachment were called to the family's residence this past Saturday, December 8.
According to the Toronto Star, the officers rushed to the home, located approximately 90 miles southwest of Toronto, after receiving a call from a nine-year-old girl. But when they reached the home, they found that it was a false alarm. The girl had reportedly dialed the police because she was upset her parents had asked her to clean her room.
Constable Ed Sanchuk confirmed the story and said officers who responded to the scene found it was a girl throwing a tantrum. "She didn't like the fact her mother told her to clean her room so she contacted authorities," he said.
Sanchuk said it was vital to understand the importance of 911 and the incident has prompted the authorities to issue a reminder to parents and guardians to teach their children about using 911. They say kids must be made to learn that the emergency number must be called for just that, emergency circumstances, and nothing else.
Speaking on the incident and revealing how such calls can have a detrimental effect on the response times to other, real emergencies, Ed Sanchuk was quoted saying, "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."
His statement is backed up by statistics which suggest it takes at least two officers an average of 30 minutes to investigate just one 911 call. This means that responding to non-emergency situations such as the one reported by the nine-year-old girl almost always puts an enormous strain on the already stretched-thin police resources.
Newsweek reports that the incident is possibly made more aggravating because of the fact that this is not the first time Norfolk County OPP officers were called to task over a report that did not require any intervention. "We've had previous cases where a key was stuck in a safety deposit box at a financial institution and a grown adult contacted 911 because they couldn't get the key out," Sanchuk said. "We're just asking people to use some common sense."
And because kids are not the only ones to misuse the system, the OPP has also released a series of tips on proper 911 use that is aimed at people of all ages. These include locking a cell phone number pad to avoid misdials and remaining on the call if 911 was dialed by mistake so the dispatcher can conclude that the caller is safe and the call was made by mistake.