'Misinformation' prompts heavy police response in North Kamloops
It came in as a reported hostage-taking — a man forcing a woman, at gunpoint, down a corridor in a North Kamloops building, her hands raised above her head — and it tied up police resources in the area for nearly two hours.
The call, at about 2:20 a.m. today (July 4), was from a security company in Toronto tasked with monitoring surveillance-video feeds from sites across Canada, including the Library Square development on Tranquille Road.
Workers watching the feed called RCMP dispatch in Kelowna, which then alerted officers in Kamloops.
What followed was an exhaustive attempt by Mounties — some of them armed with shotguns — to locate the armed hostage taker. The investigation was slowed by the fact the alarm company did not know where the camera was located, or that it was operating on a 15-minute delay.
After an hour and a half, Kamloops RCMP got a copy of the video to see for themselves what had prompted the emergency response.
What did they see? A man with a flashlight walking behind someone adjusting their hoodie.
"There was, in fact, no emergency," said Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned.
"But, for about 90 minutes, we had officers tied up."
Learned said the situation lasted so long because of the convoluted process of communication — the security company speaking to a complaint taker in Kelowna, who passed the information on to a dispatcher, who was directing officers over the radio.
"There's misinformation that can occur in that daisy-chain," he said, explaining the investigation ended as soon as Kamloops Mounties got a look at the video.
"We could see clearly it was not as originally interpreted."