Old Red Jacket Talker

Just an old RCMP dispatcher’s ramblings . . .

Just A Bit Peeved :(

I’m normally a fairly understanding person and usually take the middle road in most things.

This last Friday, October 31st, was the first day of the local Poppy campaign for 2008. Here in Hanley we have a group that sells wreaths to business people, companies, and individuals. We normally have 3 teams that take care of our community and area. They are usually chomping at the bit to get out and sell poppies and wreaths for our Remembrance Day ceremonies and are very dedicated.

So on Monday morning my Poppy Chairman comes to me and advises that all is going well with the exception of the local RCMP Detachment. The members responsible for the RCMP tried all day Friday and all day Saturday at the Detachment to contact a member with no success.

I informed the fellow that we don’t have any normal business hours for our local Detachment any longer as the RCMP has cut the Detachment to only two members and right now they are short one member. Of course this member works mainly nights when the request for service are the most. The Poppy chairperson asked that I attempt to get a hold of the Detachment and see if they wanted to purchase a wreath this year for our Poppy campaign.

Monday morning I called the local number for the Detachment and after numerous no answers I finally let the call go through to Saskatoon (knowing that member normally works nights). I explained to the clerk who answered who I was and why I was calling. She appreciated the call and replied that normally the Detachment does purchase a wreath, but I should talk to the member at the Detachment. The clerk then gave me the local number (duh I just called it a bunch of times) and also the cell phone number of the member in the area. She also advised that the member was working this evening and to give the Detachment a call after 6:00 pm. when the member came one duty.

I waited til about 5:55 p.m. hoping to catch the member before he hit the road. No answer. So I called at 6:00 p.m., 6:10 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. with still no answer. So the next call I made I let go through once again to Saskatoon and was answered by a member in the Detachment in Saskatoon. He assured me that a Hanley member was working this evening and just must be busy and to try my call again.

So I waited for an hour and tried the Detachment again. Still no answer (which is understandable if the member is out on a call). I then gave the cell number a call that the clerk had provided and actually got an answer from the member. I identified myself and the member acknowledged who was calling and then the phone went dead. Hey, this is a cell, so bad coverage etc, etc.

I thought that the member would give me a call back as he knew my name and must have my number from call display or a phone book to look up the number. After 10 minutes and no call back I again called the cell. It rang and rang and rang and no answer. I re-tried thinking maybe I had a wrong number, but nope, ring, ring, ring and no answer. So I thought maybe the member got tied up and would give me a call later. After a couple hours I again called the cell and just received a ring, ring, ring with no answer.

I then waited for another hour or so and tried again with still no answer. So I then tried the Detachment again and still no answer there. Then all of a sudden the police truck heads out of town past my living room window. I think that of course the member is heading out on a call so I don’t expect him to give me a call for the evening and that he must have been busy.

The next day I tried the Detachment and cell again and still no answer at either number, yet a few minutes later the police truck drives past the house heading out of town. So I call the members cell phone again and I still don’t get an answer.

Being an ex member I figure the member is heading to a call and is tied up and has no time to give me a call back so I send the Detachment an email message with a request for a confirmation on there attendance at our Remembrance Day services. A couple days later and still no answer.

So today I tried the Detachment again and still no answer on the local phone. There is no sense in going through to Saskatoon as they just tell me to keep trying the local number. Getting a bit peeved here by this time 😦

I typed up a letter and faxed it to the Detachment this afternoon hoping that when the member comes to work he would at least check out his fax machine. I received nothing back this evening, but I figured that maybe the member is on days off now and won’t likely see the fax until probably Friday.

What I really hate is that when I have to get up in front of a group of 20-30 people and tell them I have had no luck in contacting the local RCMP and everyone shakes their head and agrees with me and say this is normal. Ashamed just doesn’t cut it.

I then think that maybe I should tell these folks to just call 911 as numerous of our folks in the province do and that way an incident is created in Regina by DOCC and a member always gets back to these people as a complaint has been generated and the member is more or less compelled to do something.

Sorry, I just can’t do that after sitting in DOCC and hearing the sad tales on the 911 line that a person’s 12 year kid won’t go to bed and she requires the police attendance to make the child go to bed, etc. A bit later I then hear the member booking 10-23 (at scene) of the caller. Just a bit of disgust on my part on hearing this. But better that than continually calls to 911 complaining about lack of police attendance.

Gosh I wish I could get my kids tucked in by a $70,000 + per year police officer whenever I wished 😦

I do realize that this most definitely is not an emergency call, but there are still many, many calls to the police that are just a routine complaint/request for service that eventually end up in something more serious or need to be answered. It would appear that either the member(s) are so overwhelmed with the calls in the area that they just do not have the time to return calls or they just don’t care. If it is the previous then the Force should be definitely looking at getting more members in place. If it is the later, then the Force should be looking for a better Detachment for the member rather than a small town Detachment.

For our local Remembrance Day ceremony, if the member shows up great, if not then we’ll just go on with our service without them. The sale of one small wreath certainly is not going to break our bank.

It just is not a very satisfactory method of doing business in my mind though. . .


November 6, 2008 - Posted by | Hanley, Legion, RCMP

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