Old Red Jacket Talker

Just an old RCMP dispatcher’s ramblings . . .

Trip to Calgary James departed Hanley yesterday a…

Trip to Calgary

James departed Hanley yesterday afternoon enroute to deliver his load to Calgary. At about 8:15 p.m. last night he called to advise that just outside of Hanna, Alberta he smoked a deer. There was damage to his bumper and driver’s side fender but other than that no problems with the truck and he was continuing on with his trip.

One interesting thing was that James called 911 to report his accident. In Saskatchewan we don’t report accidents with wildlife as long as there are no injuries, the animal is deceased and the vehicle can be driven away from the scene. Mind you hundreds of folks do still call and attempt to report the accidents every day. The folks down in Regina have it down pat answering that ‘no if there is no injuries, deer is dead and your vehicle is drivable, you do not have to report to the RCMP. You just report to SGI and they take it from there. There are just too many deer accidents everyday to have the police respond to these type of accidents that end up essentially being SGI reports. I wasn’t aware that Alberta did not have the same policy, but I guess not.

Of course the operators in Regina have to ensure that the deer is off the road and not a traffic hazard. If not they advise the caller to remove it to the side of the road. The operators can then advise the Department of Highways of a deer along the side of the road for pickup. However, from my travels into the city I would say the Department of Highways leave the carcasses for the most part to the coyotes and ravens to clean up. Mind you these animals may be from the result of accidents that happen and are not actually called into the Regina Communication Center RCMP.

Anyhow when James called 911 from his cell phone to report the accident. After he hung up he tried to call someone else and his cell phone would not work. He got a notice that his phone was ‘restricted to emergency calling’ (or something similar). What he had to do was actually power down his phone and then power it back up and the phone would be back in business. Now I’m not sure if this is a phone specific thing or all cell phones that call 911 are restricted in the same way.

It’s funny, but I have never had to call 911 in my life. I’ve answered thousands of the calls, but I’ve never actually had to call one in myself. In actual fact most people have probably never had to call 911 in their lives. Then there are some people that seem to have the number on speed dial as they use it 4-5 times (or more) a day. When I was working we used to call these folks the ‘frequent flyer’ callers. They misuse the 911 system for everything from minor thefts that occurred weeks (years ago) to stupid calls such as ‘their 10 year old kid won’t go to bed’ and wanting immediate police action.

Of course all calls have to be answered and dealt with as you don’t know what the call is going to be until you have actually spoken to the complainant.


January 23, 2007 Posted by | James, RCMP | Leave a comment

The Singing Cowboy Yesterday the local news was a…

The Singing Cowboy

Yesterday the local news was announcing all day long that there was some problems at the Police Service for the Rural Municipality of Corman Park. This RM surrounds the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. As per normal, the radio/TV stations were only letting out bits and pieces with their announcements. Of course full details would be let out at the major news hour.

The first time I heard the announcement I heard it on Global Saskatoon. As I listened to the announcement I asked Sam if she wanted to bet this announcement had something to do with Wayne McGillivray (the Chief of Police) and Claudia Bryden (a Constable with the Service). Just the way the announcement was made me think of these two members of the service. A further link to the investigation can be found at Police Complaint.

I do remember the incident that supposedly started this all off, however, I’m not in a position to say who did what right or wrong. I’m sure this will be played out in the media over the next weeks or months.

As I was thinking of the two people involved, my thoughts flowed back to my North Battleford days. At one time Wayne McGillivray was a RCMP oficer and was the Corporal in charge of the Battleford Detachment. This is the old town of Battleford and not what they today call ‘Battlefords Detachment’ which now includes both the Town of Battleford and the City of North Battleford. Wayne was (and likely still is) noted for his singing of O Canada at Canada Day, hockey games, or just about any other time that our national anthem was sung. He of course did his singing in his red serge. To my view he certainly did a super job on the anthem anytime I heard him perform. His nickname of course was ‘The Singing Cowboy’ (among a few others he had).

Just the Corporal’s name tweaked my memory to an incident that happened to a good friend of mine and causes me to chuckle to this day. This friend was living west of Battleford at the time. One night he was heading home after a short visit to the local Legion. At this point in time there was one member at the Battleford Detachment that would chop his mother (or so we thought). Nope it was not Cpl McGillivray. We’ll just call him J. When J was working he kept the Communication Center busy running checks his whole shift long. There wasn’t much he didn’t stop for one reason or another.

As luck would have it J spotted the friend driving down Battleford Road, the road that runs along the edge of the town, and put on his lights to pull him over. The friend stopped and they had a chat with the Constable at the window and then the officer invited the friend to come up to the police car so they could check for warrants, driving status and registration. You have to remember this would be back in the late 70’s/early 80’s I believe so ‘silent patrolmen’ where just coming into vogue in Saskatchewan at the time. This is a shield between the front and back seat that offered some safety to the officers. They definitely were not as nice as the ones you see nowadays. They were a bit bulky and a little bit awkward to say the least.

The friend went up to the police car and opened up the front passenger door of the car and sat down. He was about filling his pants about this time due to J’s reputation. J did a check for validation of the driver’s licence and registration and then told the friend that there was nothing wrong and he was free to continue on his way.

As the friend was about to open up the door to exit the car he realized that in his haste to get into the police car he had inadvertently sat square in the middle of the Constable’s forge cap. As he realized this he really had a sudden urge to fill his drawers. Quickly deciding that what was done was done, he opened up the door, said thanks and quickly closed the door and headed back to his own car post haste. He glanced up and saw that J was busy writing something or doing something that was occupying him in some manner. The friend started his car up and did all the right moves to get his vehicle in motion and got the hell out of there as quickly as he could. All the way home he was constantly watching his rear view mirror as he thought for sure that Cst J was going to haul him off to the ‘Crowbar Hilton’ for damaging crown property.

It must have been his lucky day though as there was no pursuit that night. I’ll tell you though, he sure was careful when he drove home through Battleford for the next while. If truth be known he probably went home via Highway 16 to Delmas and then back across country to his residence a few times just so he didn’t have to travel on the Battleford Road.

Every time I heard the friend retell the story I laughed so hard til my sides were hurting. I always wondered what poor Cst J thought when he went to put on his squished forge cap the next time.

December 13, 2006 Posted by | RCMP | Leave a comment