Being a police officer isn’t at all what it looks like on TV. A massive chunk of the time spent working involves filling out paperwork. And every call into the field doesn’t end with a record bust resulting in bad guys put behind bars.
Think about the most average person you know on the planet and then consider that 50% of the population is dumber than that person. I want you to keep that in mind when reading these stories from current and former cops sharing stories of the dumbest calls they’ve ever responded to, and also consider that every one of these stories is a gross misuse of police time and money (via AskReddit):
Medical emergency, kid had gotten his finger stuck in a wiffle ball.
Another medical emergency, woman had taken 3 ibuprofen and wasn’t sure what would happen.
Retired police officer here. I once got sent to a “domestic” (a fight between people living together). When I arrived, a man is standing on the sidewalk in front of a two story house, alone, calm, and sober. Alone, calm, and sober is as rare as a unicorn when domestics are involved. From the upstairs window, I can hear a very pissed off, drunk woman calling us both every name in the book. He tells me that they just broke up yesterday and he came over to get his TV when she went nuts. A half second after those words left his mouth, I hear “you want your (effen) TV (insult)?”. “Here’s your (effen) TV!!! Right then, a 1980s 27” CRT TV comes flying out of the window and smashes all over the sidewalk.
Frequent caller, older woman. Nice enough, lost her marbles years ago.
Calls about a ghost in her attic (not the first time this week)
Deputy asks the woman for a mason jar, then heads upstairs to “battle” the ghost. He lights up a cigarette, takes a couple of puffs into the jar and runs out of the house shouting “IVE GOT HIM TRAPPED, STAY BACK!!”
We release the ghost to his own recognizance, and the lady hasn’t called since.
Not a cop but ex animal control. Mine: an aggressive goose at a city park that was chasing people and biting them on the butt. So literally a goose trying to goose people. And the crackhead that thought she had snakes living in her sofa.
Was base police for a large naval station, a lady called 911 because there was a spider in her garage.
We went out to tell her not to abuse 911, and she replied “Well do you have anything more important to do?”
My partner and I just sighed, and ended up relocating said spider outside.
Tecnically I didn’t respond, but:
911 hangup. Upon recall a small child answered and advised there was a spider in his house.
Officer that responded advised over the radio “the intruder has been neutralized.”
Domestic dispute call – We got there and the mother of a teenage boy, maybe fourteen, is loud and upset. Her problem was described as, “He’s interested in GIRLS!” Oddly enough, it happens around that age. Not a thing I could do about that one.
Not me but a buddy of mine responded to a domestic call where a man had assaulted his girlfriend with a pizza. He pulls up, sees said suspect sitting outside avidly denying this claim then walks in the house to see a woman covered with pizza and small burns. Man was arrested. I believe this was even on the Jay Leno show or a similar late night show.
A stolen TV remote.
Fyi, it wasn’t stolen just fell between the couch cushions
Obligatory not a police officer, but my former roommate is. I talked to him a few days ago, he had to respond at 3 in the morning to an elderly lady who lost her cat. After several minutes of questioning, the lady making him tea and offering him cookies, he finally managed to ask her what the cat looked like.
The woman looked him dead in the eye and said “What cat?”
** Dispatched to domestic violence “My oldest son is assaulting my youngest son.” Arrive onscene parties are 8 and 6. Mother insists “He got to go.” As in the 8 year old had to go to jail for slapping his younger brother. Both brothers went, to Child Protective Services, and a safety plan was put in place to ensure mother was capable of raising them.
** Dispatched to theft. “Someone is stealing my tomatoes off the tomato plant.” Looked in backyard, noticed tops of hastas also missing. Case closed, warrant signed on Bambi, Prince of the Forrest.
** From a few weeks ago on a very busy Saturday evening a guy called in a car blocking the driveway of his house. Parking complaint is a very low priority run and is being held while we attend to car crashes, bar fights, burglar alarms, and the like. Guy keeps calling, keeps being told police are occupied with priority runs. Guy calls back, was robbed at gun point waiting for police. We respond. He doesn’t want a report taken, can’t give description, but while you are here, can you tow this car blocking my driveway. We do. He doesn’t realize business across street has video surveillance. Charged with disrupting public services a week later after video reviewed.
** Several reports of burglaries in progress that turned out to be racoons. At least they dress the part.
** Several burglaries where the burglar put all belongings outside in black plastic bags. These often had several notices of eviction from the Sheriff’s Department. People think by not showing up to eviction hearing they cannot get evicted.
My uncle was a dispatcher in a suburb of Minneapolis/St.Paul, and would tell me stories whenever I saw him. My favorite goes like this:
Uncle: 911, what’s your emergency?
Caller: Yes, I’d like to report two suspicious vehicles passing something back and forth in Potawatomi park.
Uncle: Ok, we’ll send an officer out to assess.
Uncle: Dispatch to car 45, two suspicious vehicles in Potawatomi park, passing items back and forth.
Car 45: Uhhh…car 45 to dispatch, that’s me and Officer Somethingerother, passing Cheetos…
A citizen was concerned about an albino squirrel in the park (afraid someone would hurt it or mess with it, I suppose). Wanted me to capture it and relocate it someplace safer.
When my brother was little, he called 911 and hung up. Police show up, he tells us he called because he wanted to talk to our mom. Our mom was an EMT.
Not a cop but I used to be in a band with one. The funniest story he would tell us is that he and his partner were sitting on their bikes the corner (they were motorcycle cops) doing paperwork. All of a sudden a truck pulls up to them at the stoplight, rolls down the window and says “what?” They look at him, shrug and say “what?” He says back to the “what” louder this time and they smell alcohol on his breath. The guy totally got himself busted. Got hauled off for a DUI because he was being paranoid.
Not a cop but work for the police dept. Got a call from a man that someone vandalized his snowman.
A domestic abuse call, guy playing GTA 5 was severely pissed his wife wouldn’t stop chasing him down and killing him IN GAME. His wife was bigger than him or i’m sure it would have been the real deal.
A few days ago, I was stopped by a police officer for walking around while I was on the phone outside of a coffee shop. He seemed almost as confused as I was.
I know the dumbest call I have been subject to: My roommate didn’t like me.
That was it. I wasn’t into what she was, we were just roommates, not friends, but since her dad was the original lease holder she thought she could just have me thrown on the street so one of her party buddies could move in. Sorry bitch, I have rights, and my name is on the goddamn electric bill…
Not a police officer but I was a 911 dispatcher.
Just after I got cut loose from training, I received a priority one (meaning immediate response) animal ordinance call. Usually, this call is reserved for animals in traffic or vicious animals, where there is the potential for immediate threat to life.
The reporting party was a parent attending a school function. Caller advised there was a raccoon loose in the school.
I dispatched two officers to the call and they made it on scene. The officer then broadcasts the “suspect” description via radio. “Suspect is small, fast, and wearing a bandit mask. May have robbed a couple of trash cans. We lost him in a foot pursuit.”
I almost fell out of my chair, I was laughing so hard.
Not an officer, but I picked up a few during a couple of police internships. Besides chasing a pig, the “mystery goo” was probably the single dumbest call I can remember.
The officer I was with got called to deal with a family issue involving a minor and some healthcare-type stuff, so I stayed in the car listening to the radio. With things like that, sometimes it was better I gave the family some privacy. There were three other officers on that day. One was being trained by the field training officer, so they rode together. The other had his own car. Anyway, I’m sitting listening to music, and a call comes out. (If any of you recognize this, I forgot numbers/exactly what was said). The call was along the lines of “323, [City Dispatch], can you head to [Address]? Caller is advising there is a brown goo in his alley.”
“[Dispatch], 323. Brown goo?”
“10-4; he says it smells bad”
I’m still in the car waiting for my officer to get back, because I want to go see what this mystery goo is. More voices on the radio:
“[Dispatch], 323. I’m 10-23 (on scene). There’s definitely brown goo. It definitely smells bad.”
And more voices:
“[Dispatch], 316 and 324 are going to be out at [Address] investigating that goo as well.”
The FTO had brought his trainee along. My officer hurries back to the car and we decide we need to also investigate this goo. We get to the address and pull into the alleyway. Now the entire city’s police force is sitting in this tiny alleyway talking to the homeowner/caller. In the grass between the gravel of the alleyway and the back of the caller’s garage is this foamy brown goo. It was baking in the summer sun, and smelled like a combination of roadkill and a ham and cheese sandwich that had been left sitting in a hot car for about a week. We all stood around making jokes for a while before a sheriff’s deputy joined the fun. I poked the goo with a stick, which didn’t do much more than release more bad smells. The caller had a rake, which only spread the goo around further. The FTO got this dumb smile on his face and said “You know…this seems more like a fire department issue.” He got on his radio:
“[Dispatch], can you start Fire to our location? For the goo?”
“316, [Dispatch], 10-4”
A few seconds later we hear a fire page (series of tones unique to each department in the county) go out over the radio and start laughing. In about 3 minutes, two firefighters show up in basically a big Ford-F350 with some rescue gear on it. They get out, demand to know why we called them, and then also start poking at the goo. They start to smile.
“You know,” one of them says, “we don’t have any water on this truck…” The other firefighter starts laughing, and the first picks up his radio. “Start an engine to [address].” They back their truck out of the alley. Finally the engine shows up with four firefighters on board and the lights flashing. The driver actually pulls this giant truck into the narrow alley, and drives up to where we were gathered around the goo. They get out and walk up to us.
“Why are we here?”
Officer points to goo; first two firefighters laugh
“What is it?”
“Goddamn, it smells bad.”
“Yes. Yes it does.”
The firefighters sit for a moment in silence. “We could…hose it down maybe?” We tell them that they 100% should hose down this goo. The homeowner/caller agrees. The firefighters unload a hose and attach it to the front of the engine. They tell us to stand back, then blast the everloving fuck out of this rancid mystery goo. They send goo and gravel alike flying into this poor man’s yard, coating his garage with it. Now everyone but the firefighter manning the hose is laughing, even the homeowner. As the firefighters packed up their hose, we decided there was no more protecting and/or serving to do, so we headed back for our cars. As we were leaving, one of the officers turned to the homeowner and said “Remember, this is the fire department’s fault” and everyone laughed again.
This all took maybe 25 minutes at most. Such are the joys of small-town policing.
Alright, bros, that wraps up the coverage from my end. If you want to keep on reading these AskReddit stories you can CLICK HERE to see that thread in full. And if you’ve got a story of your own that you’d like to share then, by all means, pop into the comments down below!