False 911 calls should result in fines, says Moncton councillor

A Moncton city councillor says introducing steep fines could help cut down on the hundreds of false 911 calls every month.

Codiac Regional RCMP dispatch centre swamped with hundreds of non-emergency calls every month

A Moncton city councillor says it's time to bring in fines to cut down on the number of false 911 calls.

The Codiac Regional RCMP's dispatch centre gets several hundred non-emergency calls every month, including accidental calls from cellphones and alarm systems going off for the wrong reasons.

The exact cost associated with the false calls is not known, but Coun. Pierre Boudreau says the city has to look at ways to save money on the $18-million police budget.

He believes implementing steep fines, such as $500 for a false alarm, would make a difference.

"Each time there's a false alarm, we shouldn't have to bear the cost, I don't think, as a municipality."

Codiac RCMP Supt. Marlene Snowman says the police commission will study Boudreau's idea.

In October, the dispatch centre handled 420 calls related to a cellphone in a pocket or purse accidentally dialing 911, said Snowman.

Last month, the dispatch centre received 137 false calls, and 283 false alarm calls, she said.

Police have to check out every false call from a land line and a lot of the false alarm systems, said Snowman.

Other jurisdictions have fines after a certain number of false alarms, she said.

In the meantime, Snowman wants people to be more careful and to educate themselves and their children about how to prevent false 911 calls.

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