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Fishers creates $250 fine for businesses with a lot of 911 calls

FISHERS, Ind. — The Fishers City Council has agreed to create fines for nuisance businesses that take up unnecessary police resources with too many 911 calls.

Fishers Police Chief Ed Gebhart said Tuesday, “We’re not talking about emergencies. We’re not talking about victim-type stuff. What we’re talking about is 911 accidental hang-ups that are repeatedly requiring two officers to get out of a proactive mode of patrolling, and go over and check a business that we have checked numerous times. So, things like that nature.”

Police are not naming specific businesses yet because they haven’t started working with those businesses on the issue, and the officers don’t want to call out the businesses.

Mayor Scott Fadness told I-Team 8 that, over the last year, more than 50 businesses had more than 10 911 calls in a 90-day period and over 20 businesses had over 15 calls.

Here is how the ordinance will work:

  • At seven calls in a 90-day period, the business gets a warning letter.
  • At 10 calls, they get another letter and start having sit-down meetings with public safety officials.
  • Businesses start getting fined $250 after 15 911 calls during a 90-day period.

The Republican mayor said the move is not about the money. “We’re not interested in the financial component of it, other than it motivates certain individuals to come forward and be apart of the collaboration,” Fadness said.

If a business is working with the city’s public safety team to reduce 911 calls, the leaders said they won’t fine them.

Fadness said, “Sometimes a business just has more 911 calls than others. In that particular case, they’d be found in compliance with the plan and they would not be eligible for any fines. It’s really for those folks that show no desire, no interest, and no willingness to work hand in hand with public safety. Those are the individuals that would find themselves eligible for a fine.”

By reducing needless 911 calls, the police chief said his officers can do what they’re meant to do.
“The key to prevention in crime is to have our officers patrolling, actively looking for crimes in progress, or most importantly preventing crimes in progress,” Gebhart said.

No matter how many calls businesses currently have, Gebhart said, the count will go back to zero when the ordinance goes into effect on Aug. 1. The city council approved the measure during its meeting Monday night.