Mame, how many times did I say in my answer this is how it's done in the U.S.?
You say you don't give a **** what happens in my area, but in your original post you said "What I'd like to know is what are the laws and procedures where you live?"
The laws and procedures here are that you don't call 911 to get phone numbers, and if you do you will get in trouble. You yourself said in your original post "I said NO, I just want the non-emerg number"
You said yourself you were not trying to report the driver to 911, you were calling 911, trying to use them as an information operator....411.
In the United States, she could, and hopefully would have reported you, or recorded your number to the list of people who make unnecessary 911 calls.
Yes, 911 calls go to a dispatcher. Everyone knows that. Of course police officers do not directly take 911 calls. That would be unheard of.
Dispatchers are sitting in a room constantly getting 911 calls. Each call is for an emergency situation, and they don't have the resources or the time to take calls from people asking them for phone numbers.
The dispatchers are like air traffic control, coordinating all the emergency situations going on, contacting police, EMS, fire dept etc. It is non-stop and stressful being a 911 dispatcher, just like being an air traffic controller is. They don't HAVE one minute to give you a number, they need to be available to talk to someone and help with those having real emergencies.
How would you like it if you were witnessing someone dying, or a crime in progress, and you had to wait for the phone to ring 5 more times because the dispatchers were busing giving people phone numbers? Seriously, they literally do not HAVE a minute for things like giving out phone numbers.
Dispatchers are the front line. They have to be alert, listening well to incoming information from people in a panic. It's a Huge job. Asking them to stop what they are doing to get you a number would be like walking up to an operating nurse in the middle of surgery and asking her/him to ask the surgeon to give you a call when they can. They'd have every right to not only be snotty, but kick you out, telling you to go to the front desk person. Or even call the police on you.
Also, I would not automatically assume that the police officer who answered the non emergency line has more correctly information than the dispatcher on the emergency life, especially since the information given what 180 degrees away from each other.
It seems that you liked the police officers answer better, so you're going with that. In fact, the dispatcher may have been the one with the correct info, since they are the ones who deal with these situations on a day to day basis. It sounds to me like the non-emergency and emergency people need to get together to hammer out what the proper P&P is.
The police officer may have been correct in saying calling 911 to report a distracted driver, since they are as dangerous as a drunk driver. But you weren't calling 911 to report them, you were calling 911 to get another phone number. When the 911 operator asked you "You're calling 911 for a distracted driver"
You could, and it looks like should have said "Yes" and went on and reported it. Not asking them to give you another number. That is the issue I'm having with all this. You call 911 to report something, not to use them as information.
Maybe in Alberta the 911 operators are sitting around and have the time to take calls askings for phone numbers. Here they don't.