In 2023, the Saskatchewan RCMP’s Divisional Operational Communications Centre (DOCC) experienced another demanding year, fielding 352,663 calls for service. These ranged from routine matters like 911 mis-dials and false alarms to critical incidents involving public safety. The center played a pivotal role in handling diverse situations and ensuring swift responses to emergencies.
DOCC Manager Jocelyn James received high recognition, being named the 2023 RCMP National Operational Communications Centre Commander of the Year. The team’s exceptional teamwork during tragic events at James Smith Cree Nation and in Weldon in 2022 earned them accolades like the Sask911 Excellence in Teamwork Award and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials Canada Team Award.
In a significant move back in December 2022, the Saskatchewan RCMP incorporated registered psychiatric nurses into DOCC. This initiative aimed to provide crucial mental health support to 911 callers and responding officers during crises. The specialized care has proven to be a valuable addition to the center’s capabilities.
While the majority of calls were genuine emergencies, some stood out for their unusual nature. The top 10 non-emergency calls in 2023 showcased a mix of quirky complaints and unusual requests:
- Rocky’s in the house: A caller complained about being hit in the face during a boxing match with a friend.
- Bug alert: A person sought police assistance to remove wasps from their house.
- What-a-mess: A parent frustrated with their child’s room-cleaning habits called 911.
- Beep, beep: A caller requested an officer to pick up a smoke detector battery for them.
- Sunshine: An individual wanted to park their car on the opposite side of the street to avoid sunlight on their leather interior.
- We’re in this toget-hair: A caller asked for a hair salon’s number to book a haircut.
- Hangry: A caller sought assistance when their bag of chips got stuck in a vending machine.
- Buzz off: A person reported a bug invasion at their campsite without bug spray.
- Grass is always greener: A frustrated individual complained about their hired grass cutter’s performance.
- Order up: A complaint was lodged about the overpowering smell of deep-fried rink food.
Lee Rosin, Recruiter for the Saskatchewan RCMP Operational Communications Centre, emphasized that, despite the entertainment value of some calls, 911 is strictly for emergencies. Responding to non-emergency calls diverts resources from potentially life-saving situations.
The RCMP urges the public to contact their local RCMP detachment or call 310-RCMP for non-emergency reports.