The second time I worked for the RCMP, I was a Telecommunications Operator - Civilian Member even. This meant I was no longer paid by the city, I was paid by the Feds and much better I might add.
This job was in a different town, a bit north of home, much smaller place, but it was designated as sub-division headquarters. I have attached a picture of AB, I added a red line about where the subdivision boundaries are. If you follow the hwy up from the green city to where there are two dots side by side, headquarters is the dot on the right - Peace River. It is somewhat central to the s/div so it makes a kind of sense, until you realize that the town only has about 6000 people.
Yes, it takes up about a quarter of the province too - the green dot and the bottom three red dots were all answered by the people at the detachment in GP (green dot) all of the rest went through Peace River. Thirteen detachments, only one of which did not have either a reserve or Metis settlement. The rest made up for that one by have multiples though. We only had two phones with dedicated lines so we knew where those calls were coming from, the rest came in like on an 800 number - anonymously.
My job was to answer phones from all of these places and to advise the cops where they were needed by radio. Usually during the day, the larger detachments had someone in the office, so it was mainly evenings, nights and weekends that we were busy. The other part of my job was to make sure I knew where the cops were, what they were up to and get them help if they needed it and check the computer for warrants etc.
So, you needed to wade through all of that to understand my level of amused frustration about this call:
Me: RCMP how can I help you?
Caller: I need the police for ... (I can no longer remember - maybe a b&e - nothing urgent)
Me: where are you calling from?
(yeah, thats helpful!)
Me: I'm sorry sir, what town are you calling from?
Caller: I don't live in town.
Me: What is the town nearest to where you live sir?
Caller: Oh, I don't live near town, I must be at least 20 miles out of town.
Me: I'm sorry sir, I am in Peace River, at this hour all the local detachments transfer their calls to me. I need to know what detachment or town you live near or I can't send anyone out to help you.
Caller: Oh, okay, you head west 4 miles then .....(gave me complete directions except the town name)
Me: Sir, are those directions from Peace River?
Caller: No, why would I give you directions from Peace River?
Me: As I just said sir, I am in Peace River and I need to know which detachment you usually call if you require assistance.
Caller: Oh, well, I am outside of ***** where the hell do you think I am? Why am I talking to Peace River?
He then hung up. I had taken the pertinent info, name and what the problem was prior to trying to find out where he was thankfully, so I was able to dispatch a cop out. Thank goodness it was a quite night across the rest of the s/div though.