Riverfront Park emergency button a problem - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Riverfront Park emergency button a problem

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June 16, 2005

Albany -- The emergency button at the Riverfront Park Springs Fountain is proving to be too popular with the children playing there.

Since April, there have been 93 false alarm cases, where the emergency button next to the play fountain has been pushed. Police believe most of those false alarms are children pushing the button.

The emergency button is hooked up directly to the 9-1-1 center, and a police officer is dispatched each time it is pushed. The emergency signal is mandated by state law, and must be low so that it is accessible for people in wheelchairs.

County leaders have considered putting a camera by the fountain to try to cut down on the false alarms. Central Services Director Stephen Collier said "The biggest thing is public awareness. When you are down at the park, just kind of monitor the kids and keep them away from it."

Officials are concerned that 9-1-1 operators and police could be diverted from a real emergency by a false alarm.

The penalty for sounding a false alarm could be a fine of up to one thousand dollars.

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