False alarm bylaw being proposed for Brockton

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BROCKTON – False alarms not only draw officers away from investigating actual crimes, they cost the municipality money.

Coun. Tim Elphick brought forward an issue that had been discussed by the Police Services Board – the possibility of a false alarm bylaw for the municipality.

Elphick said the Ontario Provincial Police billing statement from 2019 stated there had been 122 false alarms. Billed for the standard 7.8 hours at $90 per hour, this amounted to $86,000.

The councillor noted a number of adjacent municipalities have false alarm bylaws. There is no charge for the first false alarm, but subsequent ones are billed. “If we reduced it by half, that would be $43,000, said Elphick.

Coun. Steve Adams, the other council representative on the board, along with Elphick, said the proposal for a false alarm bylaw is a result of looking at ways to reduce policing costs.

Mayor Chris Peabody described the move as “a good initiative.”

A staff report will be forthcoming on how the bylaw would work including matters such as issuing of tickets.

Another Police Services Board matter that will be getting more discussion is creation of regional boards to replace the present system. “If it’s a regional board, we may not be represented very well,” said Adams. “We have had discussions on this and will have more.”

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times