It’s generally a pretty bad idea to call 911 if you don’t have an emergency on your hands, but this story might be the exception. When one young New Zealand boy called the emergency number, it was for a very unexpected request—but the police responded on the scene anyway.
In July, an Auckland mother named Sarah got a call from her local police dispatcher—and it turns out, they were returning a call.
Sarah’s son, Zachary, had been dialing 111 (New Zealand’s equivalent of 911). The mother had just found this out, and assured the dispatcher that there was no emergency—just a friendly party invite.
“I’m very sorry,” Sarah says, in a video posted by the Auckland City District Police. “That was my nearly five-year-old son, he was just telling me that he um, wanted to invite the police to his birthday party.”
“I didn’t realize he was going to phone through!”
Sarah apologized and expressed embarrassment, but soon was laughing over the phone with the police operator, Jen.
After being assured that there was nothing wrong, Jen said she would pass the message on to the Auckland Police: “I don’t know if we’ll be able to make it, but I’ll put it in,” she said with a laugh.
But on Saturday, July 21, the police showed up at their door—the day of Zachary’s birthday party. The birthday boy answered the door.
“Zachary, can we talk to you for a second?” one police officer asked.
“No,” Zachary replied, getting a big laugh.
But soon it became clear to the 5-year-old, that this wasn’t a raid to shut down his party, but rather a birthday surprise. The police officers handed him a stuffed police dog, and he invited the cops inside.
A large number of officers, all in full uniform and even a few in tactical gear, showed up—and invited Zachary outside to see their police vehicles.
As seen in the video, Zachary and his friends spent the day riding in police cars, seeing police gear and even getting a special fly-over by a police helicopter.
The video has gone viral with over a million views—but at the end, the Auckland Police officers warn people not to get any ideas, no matter how much fun Zachary’s party was.
“While our off-duty staff were happy to bring Zachary’s birthday wish to life, we don’t encourage kids calling 111 to invite the police to their birthdays.”
But in this one case, Zachary got the best birthday he could’ve imagined.