Stay on the line
Whatever you do – don’t hang up when you phone 911, even if you realize you phoned them by mistake.
“Sometimes people are too scared to talk to us, or they’ve become frustrated,” said Kitimat RCMP’s Cpl. Scott Kirychuk. “Sometimes when a call has been dropped there has been an assault and the victim isn’t able to talk to the dispatcher.”
Kirychuk said even though callers put the phone down without saying anything to the dispatchers, the RCMP are procedurally bound to follow through on that call.
Last week Kitimat RCMP fielded nine abandoned 911 calls, which were all investigated.
“It can sometimes take up to half a day to find those people, but we find them. We will track the number down to a house, and go into that house, even if it is locked,” said Kirychuk.
He said some of the abandoned calls are made by “pocket dialers”, people who don’t lock the screens on their smartphones before putting them into their pockets.
Other people are embarrassed when they realize they have accidentally dialed 911 and cancel the call.
He said residents also phone the non-emergency 250-632-7111 number because they don’t feel they have a real emergency.
“People must rather phone 911 and let us decide whether it’s an emergency or not,” said Kirychuk.
“Even if your dog is friendly, it doesn’t mean the other dog who is on a leash is friendly,” said RCMP Media Relations Officer Constable Rebekah Draht.
Kitimat RCMP has received a number of complaints relating to dogs off their leashes where they should be on a leash, especially with the weather having warmed up.
“Dog owners must also remember that some people are scared of dogs, and that not everybody likes dogs,” added Draht.
She said the RCMP last week had to investigate a person being bitten by an off-leash dog.
Bear with us
Draht said the detachment has received a number of calls about bears in town.
“It is best to call the Conservation Office on 1-800-663-9453 to report bears. However, if the bear has become aggressive and looks likely to attack someone, residents must call 911,” said Draht.
She stressed the importance of residents leaving the bears alone, and urged motorists not to stop to take photos of the bears. She also urged residents to store their garbage securely to prevent bears gaining access to it.