A dad dialled 999 because he wanted a lift in the rain – and police obliged when he threatened to complain.
Officers picked up the man and his children from a flyover and took them to a bus stop.
He is reported to have said he would call the Police and Crime Commissioner if they refused.
Details of the incident in Shoreham, West Sussex, emerged after a policeman posted it on Facebook.
A police spokesman later said: “Clearly 999 is for use only in emergencies.”
Street pastor Ian Chisnall, who stood for the Sussex Police and Crime and Commissioner post won by Tory Katy Bourne, said: “It was not an emergency, but full credit to the police.
“They helped some children and deserve a gold star.”