Calling 911 by accident could end up costing you

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Cornwall Community Police Service

If you accidentally call 911 in the future via your cell phone, you could be looking at a hefty fine.

Cornwall police and the police services board are eyeing penalties to help recover the costs of sending officers to investigate phoney emergencies.

The police service already charges people for false-alarms and could do the same for pocket dialers - those that accidentally call 911 while their phone is jiggling in a pocket or purse.

Coun. Andre Rivette, who is a member of the police services board, suggested it is a good idea.

"If you're caught doing it, then you should be fined for it," he said in an interview.

On top of accidental 911 calls, police grapple with as many as 600 crank calls from city pay phones.

The force is urging Bell to move payphones to more visible locations to deter pranksters.

The costs of responding to 911 calls can add up over time, as police, fire and paramedics must treat every call as genuine.

There's no indications as to how much the fines would be - and a public consultation process is still likely to unfold.

Geographic location: Cornwall

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