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Kamloops is going to do something about false alarms

April 21, 2016 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - With over 1,200 non-verifed false alarms a year using up 600 hours of Kamloops RCMP time, it’s a serious drain on resources and city council is going to do something about it.

Municipal support services manager Jodie MacDonald says the bylaw covering false alarms hasn’t been amended since 1997.

“There’s been such an increase in the use of alarms systems in homes and business (since then)," MacDonald says.

She says three commercial buildings in the city have had 12 false alarms each over the last year.

A staff report on a bylaw amendment is still a ways off, MacDonald says, with nothing going to council for at least a couple months. Right now she is researching what other municipalities are doing, she says.

“A lot of municipalities are struggling,” she says. “I have 16 different bylaws in front of me.”

MacDonald says the different bylaws range from moderate to extreme, with some municipalities saying they won’t attend certain types of calls. It’s not clear where Kamloops will land.

“We have to ensure we’re giving the public the service they want,” she says.

City community safety director David Duckworth says there is no incentive for businesses to fix the problem.

“I can tell you we’ll be coming back to council with some options,” Duckworth says, adding the bylaw amendments need to have some teeth.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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