February 18, 2020 | Maria Cruz

People Share The Time They Witnessed A "Calling All Units" Moment

As exciting as they seem in the media, legitimate “call all units” dispatches can be pretty frightening. While they’re not all bad (some even involve corralling cows), it’s always intimidating to see dozens of police cruisers patrolling an area. These stories reveal what happened in these heated moments.


#1 “When You Gonna Sign Up?”

I was doing a ride-along in college in a fairly small city in GA when we got an "all available units" call. The address came in, the lights and siren went on and we were hauling at about 120 mph across town.

I had no idea where we were headed until we got there. The only thing the officer said to me was, "No matter what happens, stay in the car. If you see suspicious individuals, call it out on the radio. If any of us get hurt, call it in and stay in the car."

Then, he took a deep breath, calmly got out of the car, and took off at a sprint towards a forty-person melee in front of the only club in town. We happened to be the first car there. Over the course of the next 30 seconds, officers arrived and kept coming until they outnumbered all of the people who were fighting. 

The officer I was riding with was completely on his own for a 10-second eternity and was able to rip about 10 people apart from fighting before backup arrived. It was the single bravest and most humbling thing I've ever seen with my own eyes. When it was all over, he got back in the car with three tipsy and beaten up dudes in the back, turned to me and said, "So, when you gonna sign up?"


#2 Everyone Onboard

Years ago, a friend of mine was a dispatcher for the county. He covered sheriff, EMS and fire communications, and also worked with communicating with other agencies as well. From the state troopers, he got some sort of text communication and it referred to an accident with injuries at an intersection. It was something along the lines of “COLLISION I-40 BUS 85 INJURIES INVOLVED.”

The way it was abbreviated and written made him misread it, though. Instead of an accident, he thought there was a bus collision with 85 people injured. He dispatched every fire truck and ambulance the county had. They showed up and it was a two-car wreck with minor injuries.


#3 Officer Down

Our local school has a spring festival that's a big fundraiser for us. The local police have constantly been extremely supportive of our cause. They always send out a VW bug painted in police colours to show their support. The officer they send is also really great with kids and is an excellent ambassador for the force. 

So, on this sunny spring day, kids milled around the carnival atmosphere. I was walking with my friends with one eye on my kids. My friends have their non-verbal autistic son close by, since it's a lot of stimulus. He loves the police car. Officer McFriendly crouched down to eye level as the boy was sitting in the car. The boy turned to him and offered a high-five, landing his hand on the officer's radio. More precisely, on the 'officer down' panic button. Like the doleful eye of Sauron, every cop in range turns to converge on the schoolyard. The officer realized what happened and managed to wave off the imminent hot takedown of a preschooler. But, I must say there was genuine fear in his eyes.


#4 The Gang’s All Here

I’m a former cop and I remember this one event in particular. The “all units” call was basically a riot at a large nightclub in a very rough area of the neighboring city. Once things were finally calmed down and the dozen or so people were taken away, my boss wanted us all back in our city. I was amazed at not only how many cops showed up, but from where. Some came from counties and towns I had never heard of before. I looked up a few at the end of shift and some came from over an hour away.



#5 Nothing to See Here

So, I interned at the local police department at a time when all stations received new radio devices. The new devices had a bright orange "panic button" on top. Pushing that button resulted in all communication on the standard "channel 1" being turned to one-way communication only and an automatic "all (free) units call". All other units had to switch to the much weaker "channel 2" to communicate, but channel 2 only allowed one device to speak. To disable the panic mode, you had to push the bright orange button in a certain sequence. It could not be done remotely.

This happened in a rather large city where some police stations are closed at night. That night, an older PO closed down the remotest station in the suburbs, and decided to shut off the radio devices. You guessed it, he pushed the panic button on top because he thought that's where the devices were to be turned on and off, without realizing what he did. He locked the station and went home. Since it was the first day of using the new radio devices, quite a few officers were unsure how to turn to channel 2. Basically, all communication was blocked. Cue panic everywhere. Frantic cell phone calls to dispatch were made and dispatch tried to figure out who closed that station so the panic mode could be disabled. This unintentional "all units call" turned into an actual "no units (can) call," though quite a few units were busy trying to resolve the situation.

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#6 On the Run

I got run over by someone fleeing the scene of an incident that they weren't involved in. He just got scared and apparently had a weapon on him. I was out of my car talking to the person who called and my partner was trying to stop the person who was really called on, so he didn't even see me get hit. No one knew I got hit or where I was because my radio went flying. Luckily, there were a lot of witnesses who called 911 and found my radio. I confused the dispatcher because I was in so much shock that I came over radio taking like I normally do, but I was hurt badly from my head and broke my leg. I didn't feel the pain for about two hours. So I had that call come out because of me. I'm also pretty sure a policy got made because of me too.


#7 Burnt Popcorn

I work as a police communicator at a local university. Usually, when we receive an 'all units' call, it’s most likely a fire alarm at one of the buildings. However, most of the time it’s not even as serious as all that. Oftentimes, it’s nothing more than a false alarm and someone just burnt the popcorn at the lounge…

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#8 Family Ties

I once got an all unit call to my house. My mom was dating a bad guy and everyone knew who he was. I was around 15 and one night he went off the rails. I got involved just in time to see him swing at my sister (who was seven at the time). I ran for the phone and called it in. I got as far as the address when he grabbed me. 

Well, the dispatcher heard my garbled yelp and called it in as a possible homicide in progress. That, combined with his reputation, sent every cop in surrounding jurisdictions to come flying our way. By the end of it, I think there were 20+ police officers at our house. It was a terrible night and my mom was mad at me for months. But man, you don't mess with my little sister.

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#9 Sending All Units

It might not have been an "all units" call, but the day my daughter went unresponsive after having a febrile seizure, the 911 dispatcher sent out "Unresponsive two-year-old." We had about 30 EMT, police, and firefighters at our house in minutes. Thankfully, she was okay, but it was scary for us at the moment when her temperature wouldn't go down and she passed out.


#10 A Lover Scorned

I was a military police officer on a rather large base. I was getting off shift and being transported back to my barracks by the guys coming on shift so I could check in my weapon. Suddenly, we got a call for all units to respond to a section of base housing. A military wife was having an affair with another soldier while her husband was on deployment. Supposedly, the husband was due to return soon so she tried to break it off with the other guy. He responded by seriously injuring her.

My team leader and I searched the tree line. I actually passed the guy with my team leader a few yards behind me. Suddenly, he came out saying, “You’re looking for me.” My team leader covered him while I went in for the handcuffing making sure that I had my knee firmly planted in between his shoulder blades and thoroughly covering his upper torso into the muddy terrain.

I’m not sure what happened after that. He was taken to a holding cell by another squad and I got to go home. I ended up getting transferred from that base a few months later, but I know the wife survived the wounds.

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#11 Out of Hand

I was at one of the lakefront beaches in Chicago a few summers ago when a party 1/4 mile down the trail started getting out of hand. Apparently, the party got way overcrowded, so a pair of cops rolled up in a squad car to get the mariachi band to quit, in hopes of folks losing interest and dispersing. This was a no-go and the crowd responded by, among other things, breaking the squad car windows and surging in around the cops... One of whom put out a call.

I don’t know the details, but apparently Chicago cops have a code that basically means “drop whatever you’re doing and get over here.” I feel this because within 90 seconds that party looked like that epic car chase at the end of the Blues Brothers. If I had to guess, there must have been at least 50 cars going down onto the lakefront, one after the other. 


#12 Man Down

Back when I was a practicing journalist, I got a text about a crime scene. Turned out, a cop made a stop, was hit in the neck by the passenger, ended the passenger and aimed for the driver. However, the driver got away. Cops from the two adjoining cities came, sheriffs deputies, airport police, and university police all came out in under three minutes. There were about 150 cops. Within 30 minutes, marshalls, FBI, and ATF were there as well. It was the largest response I’ve ever seen.


#13 Federal Officer

My father was once a Highway Federal Officer in Mexico. They were armed with standard caliber stuff (nothing too heavy, but enough to defend yourself. The reason why was because things got real against the Cartels. But, the border is so big that you have to deal with it yourself because the nearest unit can be over an hour away. 

He once told me that he encountered a convoy of three humvees while he was on the side of the road but they were relatively hidden. He went for the first humvee’s tires and it lost control. The other two braked and about 12 dudes came out to fire in random directions. My father laid down, suppressing fire on them until two units came from each side of the road from a relatively nearby station to arrest who was left of them.

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#14 Woodland Area

I used to work in the security industry. I was quite well-known by the local officers and had a few dealings with them. Both in and out of work. One day, I got a call on my mobile phone while on duty. It was a bit odd, but it was the local custody sergeant. Apparently, there had been a call that a child was being attacked in some woodland next to my site. I was being asked to run to the site of the report as I would be there first.

I went, and pretty soon was scouring this little woods for anyone I could find. The whole time I was terrified. What if I find someone doing something awful? What should I do? Could I just frighten him off and take control there? Would I be able to control my anger? All those thoughts happened in a flash, plus more. I did a few frantic laps of this place before hearing cars pulling up behind me, outside the wood. Next thing I knew the entire local police force was there with me. We never found anyone. No sign. Horrible moment. 


#15 False Alarm

It was my buddy’s first day on the phone at a fire station in an international airport. The airliner detected a fire in the rear by the generator. They were coming in hot and needed assistance immediately.

My buddy decided that the major airliner incident was imminent, so he called the city fire department, which might have 80 fire stations. They all sent every unit — expecting complete mayhem.

Well, the airplane landed safely. False alarm. There were about 200 fire trucks lined up for miles outside the airport. No one was able to get in because the gate was closed.


#16 Serious Crash

One that stands out was a chase that ended with a crash. People passed and there was an entire trunk full of contraband. But, there are some robberies and pursuit assists calls, all of which usually get opened up depending on the situation. Officer down, or needs immediate assistance (10-24) are the big ones. 

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#17 What a Riot

Back when I was a reporter, I had to write up a fun little story for the paper. The local university had a Greek week in which all the frats and sororities would compete for charity. At the end of the week, they’d gather together and carpool over to the local drive-in. Normally, the campus required any gathering of more than a dozen or so people to be registered so that they could send an officer to monitor underage drinking. But, because this wasn’t an official party, no one bothered to tell the campus police. The plan was to go elsewhere.

Sure enough, the neighbors complained about an unauthorized party as there were maybe a few dozen kids milling about loading up for the carpool. So, a couple of the campus police were sent over to move the kids along. When they got there, kids were everywhere and all talking smack to the cops. They thought it was ridiculous that someone called them.

One of the officers then slipped on a bottle while walking to the frat house. But his partner didn’t see why he had fallen. He heard a crash, and saw his senior partner on the ground. Thinking his partner had been hit by a thrown bottle, he rushed over to the cruiser and called in for backup. But he was relatively green and made several little mistakes. Instead of using normal language he decided to use codes. Instead of saying, “Hey we’re clearing out that unauthorized party and could use a couple more officers,” he used the codes for “riot in progress, officers down on the scene, need immediate backup.” And instead of using the campus police only band, they used the shared county band.

Well, “riot in progress, officers down,” is apparently something dispatchers take a little seriously. An “all units” call was then immediately repeated by the four adjacent counties plus most of the individual cities and towns. Ultimately, a couple of hundred cars screamed their way to campus. Cooler heads eventually prevailed, but not until a few hundred cops from about a dozen departments had donned their anti-riot gear, fired tear gas into a crowd who had no idea that they were “rioting,” and had detained everyone in a two-block radius. Without realizing or intending to, the rookie had summoned nearly every officer in a 50-mile radius.


#18 Not What it Seems

I’m a police dispatcher. A couple of weeks ago we had a career day at a local elementary school. Police brought one of the cruisers with them to show the kids. In the process of climbing in and out, the kids must have hit the button to use the radio. All you could hear was yelling and screaming. I was convinced there was an officer in distress. Eventually, the chief of police comes on the radio to inform me its children.

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#19 9 to 11

I had an incident where 20 police cars were in my neighborhood the day my mom passed. They wouldn't let us see her until after the autopsy came back. My entire house was filled and it was a decent size. One was sitting in my gaming chair looking through things. Like, dude, you're not gonna find anything on a 14-year-old girl’s desk. It was around 9:00 a.m. when I found her and by the time they all left, it was close to 11:00 p.m.


#20 High-Speed Chase

There was a high-speed chase and the officer overcorrected a turn and crashed into a light pole. His car caught on fire. Between the light pole, barrier, and his own car, he was pinned and nobody could get him because of the fire. By the time they got a fire truck, put out the fire and untangled him, it was too late.


#21 Think Again

I used to work as a corrections office back in the day. There was one time when an inmate decided to try and fight one of our newer guards. The inmate failed to realize he was a military policeman trained in hand-to-hand combat. He was also just a good fighter. We watched it on the cameras quite a few times after.

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#22 Set Up a Perimeter

I work as a dispatcher. Once, a few officers were doing a vehicle stop, but it suddenly took off, nearly running over an officer. Then the vehicle crashed, flipped over, and one of the suspects took off on foot. Units started dialing over from all over the city to set up a perimeter and catch the suspect. My shift ended but they got him.

KMC innovations: 569th USFPS saves time, money, and livesRamstein

#23 Is That a...

I was once the person "all units" were focused on. My high school had an open campus, so some friends and I were at one of their houses a few blocks away for lunch one day. We were messing with an airsoft toy in his backyard. Well, some neighbor saw us and decided to call the police. They thought it was real. 

We were ordered out of the house with a megaphone and swarmed by the SWAT team once we were all out. I'm talking 15 officers with full armor. Once I was on the ground, I looked around and saw four or five police cars parked across the street with scopes focused on us. We didn't end up getting in any trouble because we didn't actually do anything wrong.

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#24 Missing Woman

I have a buddy who's high up in the local department. One day, when we were having an abnormally high amount of snow, he got a call about an elderly lady with dementia gone missing. He went over there and apparently she had gone out in the snow with no coat and had been missing for almost an hour. He called in all active units, k9, anyone in the area, even got the helicopter up in the air. Well, the helicopter has a thermal camera and found the lady in five minutes, so all these cops show up for no reason. She was fine. He loves that story.


#25 Prison Picnic

I used to be a nurse at a prison. Every year, there’s a picnic for the inmates serving life sentences where they have family who can come in and visit in the yard. Well, one year during the picnic there were approximately 200 people milling about in the yard of the prison when inside the maximum security common room a fight broke out between two inmates. When one of the officers came up behind one of the inmates to try and separate them, she kicked backward and hit his shin in the just the right place and shattered his tibia. 

One of the other responding officers in the pod called across the radio "officer injured, officer down, send everyone." The radios are monitored by the local department as well in case something serious happens. So the local police intercepted this message and sent everyone. There were police officers, federal investigators, ambulances, fire trucks and even parks department vehicles responding. 

At this point, there was so much chaos that none of the officers in the central command knew what was going on or what the status of the injured officer actually was. So, against protocol, they threw open the gates and all of these responding officers descended upon the prison. The poor 200 people in the yard were swooped down upon by the literal 100 officers.

Fortunately, the situation cooled down quickly and no one else was injured. But it was so congested with cars, the gates to the prison were wide open with empty police cars left running and unattended. I was actually surprised that not a single inmate tried to take advantage and sneak out. Although, the prison was on lockdown for the next day while they tried to complete the investigation and sort out the chaos.

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#26 Hostage Situation

There was a big standoff in the town over from me. A man held his wife hostage for a few days. I’m unsure of the backstory, but I believe the relationship was ending. When SWAT arrived, the home exploded when they tried to enter and six officers were injured. So, they ended up calling officers from other surrounding towns. It was all over the news and you could see SWAT and officers everywhere. The man had a lot of smaller sheds in the backyard and everything started to catch fire. I believe the woman got out but they found the man inside once they got the fire under control.

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#27 Dark SUV

I was sitting in the car with my son in a gas station parking lot when a cop car went by. A few minutes later, we saw more going in the same direction and one lone car coming from the other way. I assumed the lone car was the original one we saw go by as there were no others that came from that way. The guy was flying and the cars coming the other way stopped, so I wondered what was going on. 

Turns out, it was a chase with a dark SUV that I didn't see until they passed us. All the other cop cars turned around in the street right beside me. I saw at least eight cop cars go by in a span of a few minutes. I learned the next morning that state patrol was eventually involved and performed a P.I.T. maneuver on the SUV to make it stop. 


#28 Brooklyn Wedding

This happened at a large wedding in Brooklyn. It was around midnight, so there weren't that many units to begin with. The families started warring with each other and when we arrived, they of course turned on us. Everyone was brawling. We turned out three cars that night and one of them was out on a homicide, so we just yelled, "Keep 'em coming, Central!" The duty captain showed up, looked around, saw that this was quickly becoming a rout and called a citywide 10-13, which means a designated number of cars from every boro task force in the city.


#29 Fight, Fight, Fight

There was once a riot at a local theme park. Some idiot kids put out that there was going to be a fight in the parking lot and for some reason that meant several hundred high school kids all gathered in the lot and got into a huge brawl. The first few officers responding got surrounded in the chaos and they put out an officer in trouble. Due to the size of the crowd, they asked for officers from all over the county.


#30 Good Samaritans

I was once involved in an accident while in pursuit of a vehicle. I was T-Boned on the passenger side of my patrol car. It was bad. My car did multiple 360s, jumped the highway median, and finally landed right side up. Every airbag went off. I must’ve blacked out due to the impact. When I woke up, I was in a pretty bad state. I knew I had to call dispatch, but due to a concussion, I wasn’t making any sense. All dispatch heard was that I was in an accident and I think I started mumbling nonsense. With the radio crackling, I heard my dispatcher yell for all units to go to my location. 

However, the car door was stuck and I thought I was never getting out. Thanks to an off-duty firefighter and plenty of other Good Samaritans, who saw what happened, they were able to pry the door off the hinges. At that exact moment, at least 20 other officers from many different towns came to my rescue. It was a humbling experience that I’ll never forget.

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#31 My Bad

I was driving with my husband once when we got smacked from behind. As it happened, a cop rear-ended my husband at a red light because he was talking to someone out the window. We lived in a small town and I kid you not, every last cop on the force showed up to make fun of him. I’m not going to lie, it was hilarious!


#32 Homeless Shelter

I’m a security guard at a homeless shelter and about three weeks ago some dirtbag took a swing at me. I stepped back and flinched hard at him, but it was enough just to reign him up a little and he squared up on me. At that moment, all 20 or so other guards rushed to my aid and got between me and the raging dude. 

I rushed inside the mayhem, climbing over people. I tried to pull out my would-be assaulter before he was hurt too bad. Suddenly, another 15 or so police cars came flying into the shelter campus. One of my cop friends later told me a random uninvolved client called and told them I was being jumped by a huge group of homeless dudes with no backup. So, being the stand-up guys they are, they rolled everyone as fast as possible to try and help.

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#33 Ritual Sacrifice

One night there was a rowdy crowd and one of the units called for all units to respond, but in an unusually calm voice. The shift sergeant got on the radio and said, "What's going on, Unit 212?" Silence. Sergeant again, "Hello? Unit 212, what's going on there? Gang activity? Riot? Ritual sacrifice?" After a few seconds of silence, Unit 212 responded simply with, "Affirmative." So, our shift sergeant called dispatch and said, "Apparently, the North region is en route to a ritual sacrifice at the Millennium NightClub." Everyone got a good laugh out of it.

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#34 High School Lockdown

We had a lockdown at my high school this past fall. I was there for a victory lap semester and the lockdown happened about 10 minutes before classes were scheduled to begin. We were in the cafeteria and heard the alarm, so we left the building thinking it was a false alarm. As it turns out, it was serious.

So, we got as far away from the building as we could but we were still on the main road. We saw 30 police cars and vans pulled by us. Between SWAT and regular officers, ambulances and undercover cars, we were amazed at how many showed up. In any case, the lockdown was lifted and they took in a kid who brought his BB to school. But I was surprised at how well it was reacted to.

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#35 Gone South

Most memorable time was a regular DUI stop that turned south, resulting in the officer being attacked. It was towards the end of the shift and most of the officers were finishing up on paperwork at the station. As soon as the alarm went off, every officer in the station left within 10 seconds of hearing it. The suspect was quickly detained and taken in soon after.

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#36 Missing Child

I lost my nine-year-old at a hotel in New York City. I was unaware that a child of the same age had been abducted from the hotel the day before. We were getting on an escalator to go up one level. I was carrying my one-year-old and, as I stepped on to the escalator, another person stepped on behind me, in front of my daughter. It was really crowded, so she decided to go up the elevator, which was only a few yards away. We both got to the top and couldn’t find each other. 

I started asking people in our group to help me find her. One of them alerted the staff, who knew about the abduction the previous day. It didn’t take too long to have the entire hotel on lockdown. Additionally, police swarmed the place. I didn’t notice, honestly, because I was far too busy looking for my daughter.

We found her over an hour later. She had gone up to our room when she couldn’t find me, thinking that I might have taken the baby back to the room. Housekeeping was cleaning the room when she got there, so the door was open. We had checked the room twice, but she thought she was in trouble and hid under the bed. That night, we were at a banquet at the hotel and everyone was talking about it. Apparently, there were so many police cars in front of the hotel, that traffic couldn’t get through.


#37 Domestic Dispute

I responded to a call of a domestic disturbance in progress. Once I got there, a fight had already started. Once I broke things up, I tried to talk with the man with no luck. We fought for approximately 15 minutes. During that time, there was a call from the victim to dispatch asking for more officers. I wasn't in any real danger at that time, but it definitely could've gone bad as the guy had a good 100+ pounds on me. 

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#38 4th of July

A couple of days before the 4th of July, I was with my dad. He had a quarter stick he wanted to light off on the side of the ditch near the highway. I told him to wait until we got to a better spot. He agreed and we turned on to the road to see a set of cops who set up a spike strip at the bottom of this hill. Then we saw this junky car flying down the hill with about 10-15 police cruisers chasing him. It was pretty cool to see the spike strips in action. His tires blew and he coasted into a gas station parking lot.

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#39 Two Times

Twice I have dispatched a call to "all available units." One was a crime in progress, which was actually called in by the suspect themselves. I needed as many officers as possible for crowd control and scene security so I could send in the medics as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the victim didn’t pull through.

The other was an officer down. There was a second officer on the scene who just started yelling at me to "help". I wasn't sure what was needed so I just sent everyone, all patrol units, fire, medics and a chopper. Sadly, that was another unfortunate ending regarding the police officer. Looking back, it makes me think I should have found other work.

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#40 Wedding Bells

About 18 months into my police career, there was a huge melee that resulted in the bride being arrested on felony charges and subsequent Immigration detainer warrant. The groom was arrested by me for multiple misdemeanors. That wasn’t the end, though. The maid of honor was also taken into custody for related charges.

The story became national news. Yes, the bride had her mugshots taken in her dress. About 18 months after the incident, the family was approached by Lifetime to make a film of the ordeal. I still see the maid of honor from time to time. Basically it was a huge fight that ended up with 20 cops from four or five jurisdictions. 


#41 Carnival Riot

I used to work in a small borough part-time. There is a carnival that comes every year around mid-June and it's been part of the community for over 50 years. People in the area can't wait for the church fair. The local police department usually works the "security" at the fair, but still in uniform. There were only a handful of guys working because it's such a small department. 

Well, a few fights broke out one night and people started getting really aggressive. We were outnumbered and were literally running across the carnival from fight to fight. Eventually the fights turned into a large one and officers were strewn among the crowds just grabbing whoever they could. It basically turned into riot-like conditions and spilled into the Walmart parking lot across the street. 

During the situation, our chief called out a "county assist,", which means send everyone you can. Officers from around the county, some over an hour away responded. Luckily, it was under control before most of them got there. Turns out, several teenagers from a New York City gang came down to my area and started it with a local group.


#42 RCMP Call

My friends and I caused an “all units” call once when we were in our teens. We were partying and decided to walk around our town of about 8,000. My buddy started screaming high pitched like a girl, then would follow it up with, "Shut up!" He did that a few times, laughed about it, and didn't think much of it. 

Suddenly, we were surrounded by every single RCMP officer that town had. My only real guess is that some guy called them thinking that a female was being hurt and that my friend was walking around the alleys looking for the guy. Suffice to say, the cops were really upset when they realized it was us being utter tools.


#43 Police Everywhere

I was driving home from some event across town and I remember seeing a lot of police lights a mile or so down the road as I crested a hill. A few moments later, three or four more police cruisers came screaming past me, headed in the direction of the other police. I passed through the intersection they were at and I remember seeing the intersecting road blocked off about 500 feet from the intersection in both directions by more than 10 police cars. I drove a little further and saw two fire trucks blocking the road I was on in the opposite lane, with their ladders extended off the side of the road. Turns out a man from my city committed a domestic crime, then got in his car and fled the scene. 


#44 Off Easy

My friend and I were racing down the street once while we were young. An officer pulled us both over and was about to write us tickets, but he got the "all units" call before he could and took off without doing anything. We found out on the news later that there was a situation at a house that turned out to be a lab.

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#45 Touring San Francisco

I'm a medic who was visiting San Francisco in 1999. I distinctly remember this one time when I was walking down Market Street. At random, this homeless person jumped a British tourist and started hurting him pretty bad. Obviously, I called the authorities and within two minutes, there were seven cars on scene.

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#46 Moo-ve Over

I was an E-911 dispatcher which includes fire, EMS, sheriff’s department, and city police. I remember one “all units respond” call was a cow running around in the city at night. It was a slow night, so they decided to try and wrangle this cow quickly, which means they called all units. It took them an hour to get it corralled.

080925-F-0000X-003Tinker Air Force Base

#47 Boston Cops

I live in Boston and like all major cities, we have a few suburbs barely a stone's throw away. Boston cops are hardened they don’t care what you’re doing. Dedham (a town just outside of Boston) doesn’t have much going on besides giving citations to people throwing candy wrappers on the ground. One day, I was in an accident in Dedham and called 911. I got the state police dispatcher since I was on a state highway, who said if no one was injured they weren’t coming. There was a local Dedham cop in the plaza’s parking lot across the street who was going no less than 75 mph to get through to the street. By the time he got to me, there were eight cruisers on their way.


#48 Heavy Fire

One was the big riots that hit the UK a few years back. We ended up doing many, many hours in flameproof riot gear, balaclavas, helmets and shields. I was hit with a lot, as were my colleagues, but we took the streets back and kept the city safe. For a few weeks after this, people would thank us in the street, although it’s all forgotten now.


#49 A Proper Send-Off

My grandfather was loved in his town. His wake was about six hours long and the shortest line to pay respects to him and my grandmother that I saw was still half the length of the church. His funeral procession was guarded by the entire police force of his town, both squad cars and the motorcycle. We even joked about it at the time, but it just showed me that someone can have a huge impact on the world just by being kind. 

1280px-State_Funeral_for_George_H.W._Bush,_41st_President_of_the_United_States_181205-D-EI292-071Wikimedia Commons

#50 Anticlimactic

I worked as a federal officer. The local department was chasing a felon on the highway when he crashed into our perimeter fence and bailed on foot. This facility contained a lot of TS level stuff and they put out a call over the radio for any available patrols to respond. Everyone headed into the wood line. It ended rather anti-climatically with him surrendering and being transferred back to the city’s custody. It was really exciting for about 15 minutes, though!

PHL Pope7772Flickr


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