911 issue shows need for regionalization

My wife and I left a Christmas party on Sunday night, travelling safely home sober, when we saw an unbelievably drunk driver driving over the meridian, swerving into the second and third lane on Highway 17.

We immediately dialed 911 and got Saanich. We had the time and concern to follow this drunk until police interception, and we gave details of the vehicle, including plate number. The operator was seemingly more concerned with where we were than what was going on.

article continues below

As we got closer to downtown, passing some invisible line, she transferred us to Victoria dispatch, where we had to start everything over again. The drunk driver ran a red light at Hillside Avenue, and we lost him as we could not pursue.

This 911 gap is a dangerous situation. Lives were at stake because of this driver.

What is it going to take to kick this to the next level? A politician’s family member dying from something like this? We simply cannot ignore this failure in our emergency services, and we need to figure it out now, together, or seek a provincial-level mandate. We desperately need collaboration, which can come from only one solution — regionalization of our police forces.

This disconnect is only getting worse. What happens when we get to the point where people refuse to call 911 because nothing gets done?

Derek Sanderson







Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist