False alarm bylaw has made a difference for Kamloops RCMP - InfoNews

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False alarm bylaw has made a difference for Kamloops RCMP

November 28, 2017 - 3:16 PM

KAMLOOPS - A decrease in false alarm calls in the city is having a positive impact on the Kamloops RCMP detachment by freeing up more officers on shift.

The number of false alarm files in the city has dropped more than 50 per cent in the third quarter of this year, compared to the same time frame last year.

Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says now that a new bylaw is in place to deter false alarm calls, the drastic drop has been able to free up more officers on watches.

The new bylaw, which took effect on July 1, raised the fines for repeat false alarm calls. The first false alarm for a hold-up or panic alarm comes with a $300 fine. The fine is $500 for the second false alarm and three or more false alarms will cost $1,000 each time.

Shelkie says between July and October of 2017, there were 107 false alarm files billed through the City of Kamloops, a 53 per cent decrease compared to the 232 files billed during the same time frame last year.

RCMP have previously told the city false alarm files waste hundreds of hours of service for officers, and makeup 95 per cent of the security alarm calls.

According to a quarterly report by the Kamloops RCMP, there has also been a decrease in missing persons files, which also takes up a large amount of resources at the detachment. Kamloops RCMP Supt. Brad Mueller has been vocal about the high number of reports in the past.

Missing Persons Coordinator Const. Donna Fogarty previously told iNFOnews.ca the detachment dealt with approximately 1,000 missing persons files per year, which works out to roughly 250 reports per quarter, although some quarters have higher numbers than others.

During the third quarter of this year, there were 255 missing persons files, 102 of which were considered high risk. This is an 18 per cent decrease from the second quarter of this year.

According to the quarterly report, the missing persons coordinator has been working with ASK Wellness on adult missing persons files.

"A new trend is emerging in which families are reporting their adult children missing,” the report states. “The families are concerned for their children’s safety due to the high risk lifestyle they lead, including substance abuse and homelessness."

The missing persons coordinator has been working with ASK Wellness to locate these people as they routinely access the outreach organization’s services.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 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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