Seven-Year-Old Boy Lands in Hot Water After 911 Call

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Sometimes, we end up a little disappointed on Christmas morning.

We’ve all been there. We run downstairs at the crack of dawn to tear into our presents, only to find out that the one thing we’ve been wishing for isn’t under the tree. Sometimes, you just have to settle for socks and a year’s supply of toothpaste when all you really wanted was a Nintendo Switch.

But while these situations might have made you angry with your parents, you probably didn’t get the police involved.

But one 7-year-old boy couldn’t help himself.

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt recently reported that a very young Ontario resident is officially on the naughty list after calling 911 to tell police that he did not appreciate the snow pants he received for Christmas.

He must have really thought the gift was heinous. He did, after all, consider them a bonafide crime worthy of police intervention.

But while this situation is uniquely—and seasonally—hilarious, it does work as a teachable moment for the both the boy in question (perhaps the likely unimpressed response on the other end of the phone taught him a lesson in graciousness) and the public at large.

Now, police are taking the opportunity to remind people that some situations never, ever warrant a 911 call. While most people know not to call the police after receiving a disappointing Christmas present (or when their fast food burger is missing cheese), not everyone realizes that the following issues are not emergencies:

  • Inquiries about fines (do not call 911 to challenge or ask questions about a traffic ticket)

  • A minor traffic annoyance (if you want to report someone for disobeying a traffic rule when no collision has occurred, you can learn more about that here)

  • Complaints about poor customer service at a shop or restaurant

  • Inquiries about laws and legal matters

  • Inquiries about job opportunities with the police force

  • Minor legal issues that can reported online (minor theft, theft from your vehicle, minor damage to your vehicle or property, etc.)

  • Your garbage hasn’t been picked up or a city bylaw (such as a noise ordinance) is being violated (while police can field noise complaints—just be sure to dial the non-emergency number—garbage complaints should be directed to the region or your city)

It is appropriate to dial 911 when you’ve lost control of or are witnessing an out-of-control fire, when you or someone else is experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency or when you’re witnessing a crime in progress/believe you may become a victim of violent crime.

In short, 911 is for life and death situations.

Not for when Santa doesn’t heed your letter.

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