Peel Police release list of ridiculous 911 complaints made during Amber Alert
Today in things nobody should ever have to say: don't call 911 to report that an Amber Alert has disrupted the hockey game you're watching on TV.
Peel Regional Police have shared a rather disturbing list of calls local 911 operators recieved after an Amber Alert went out for 11-year-old Riya Rajkumar on February 14.
The young girl was found dead in her father's Brampton apartment roughly one hour after said hockey game was "interrupted" by an emergency broadcast signal, though police say it was the Amber Alert that directly helped them locate her father (who was charged with murder and later died in hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound).
"I can't even begin to describe how disappointing and upsetting it is to read the comments, emails and calls to our communications bureau complaining about receiving an Amber Alert late at night," wrote Peel Police Media Relations Officer Cst. Akhil Mooken on Twitter after the alert was called off.
"I appreciate that a lot of people were sleeping but the immediate need to locate the child outweighed the momentary inconvenience that some people encountered," he continued.
"Tragically this incident did not have the outcome we were all hoping for but the suspect was located as a direct result of a citizen receiving the alert and calling 9-1-1. The system works."
Our communications bureau is receiving numerous calls to 9-1-1, complaining about the late hour of the Amber Alert. As a direct result of someone receiving the alert, we were able to locate the suspect & his vehicle. The system works. Thank you to all those that called with tips.— Peel Regional Police (@PeelPoliceMedia) February 15, 2019
Today, during a Peel Regional Police Services Board meeting in Brampton, the details about many of those disappointing calls were made public in a report titled Misuse of the 911 System.
Here are just a few of the comments callers made to 911 officers, as per the Brampton Guardian:
The report revealed that 383 people in total called Peel Police specifically to complain about the Amber Alert between 11:36 p.m. on February 14, when it was called for Riya, and 9 a.m. the next morning.
Out of all 430,111 total 911 calls made in the area last year, a total of 42 per cent were deemed "inappropriate" by Peel Police.
Thus, they've initiated a "911 Awareness Campaign," according to the Brampton Guardian, to educate the public on what an actual emergency constitutes.
"The inappropriate use of 911 calls is an ongoing concern for Peel Regional Police," reads the report presented in Brampton today.
"The (Peel police) Communications Centre recognizes that the misuse of the 911 system poses a risk to public safety as these calls can potentially delay legitimate 911 calls from being answered."
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