We may be preparing to enter a new year and a new decade, but Hamilton police say 911 communication centre staff continued to receive the same old questionable calls this year.
On Friday, the service published its annual top 10 list of non-emergency calls handled by call takers and dispatchers in 2019.
Taking inspiration from late night television host Jimmy Kimmel and his Mean Tweets segment, officers and civilian staff read transcripts of a handful of calls in a video called Hamilton Police Real 911 Calls.
“Um, hello, I just found a black spider in the basement. I’m at xxx road. I don’t know what kind of spider it is, but there’s a black bag and I don’t know what’s in it,” a Hamilton police personnel member recounted.
“‘Can you get a forensics person to come look at it or no?’ My ‘spidey’ senses are saying no… really? This is not a police emergency?”
Among the other 911 calls service members said they received included a request for cigarettes, an Amber alert request for a stolen puppy, a report of lost keys, a request for help changing a carpet and a shivering raccoon.
Jackie Penman, the Hamilton Police Service’s corporate communicator, told Global News the 911 communications centre got approximately 195,000 so far this year.
She said the service put out the list again as a reminder that 911 is for emergencies only, noting the top 10 list was “unfortunately” whittled down from a “rather extensive” list of calls.
“I wish I could say that those are just creative ways, but those are actual calls,” Penman said.
“Our 911 communications staff has to take the call, deal with the call, and that means somebody calling with a potential emergency can’t get through.”
Meanwhile, police encouraged residents in Hamilton to call 905-546-4925 for non-emergency-related issues.
Here is the full top 10 list released by Hamilton police:
1) A forensics person to assist with identifying spiders in the basement
2) Someone asking for cigarettes
3) Putting out an Amber Alert for a stolen puppy
4) Helping locate keys lost in a drain
5) Changing a bad carpet
6) Mice in an apartment
7) Help with calling a taxi
8) TV isn’t working and an important game is on
9) Cold raccoon
10) Locking keys in the car