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A. Purpose. This chapter is intended to reduce the number of false requests for emergency assistance, or similar misuse of the 911 emergency response system, which occur within the City and result in waste of City resources or the creation of a public safety risk by providing for corrective administrative action, to include certain potential consequences for such misuse. This chapter shall not be applicable to mechanical activations of requests for assistance, nor shall it be interpreted to impose liability on any person who makes a good faith request for emergency assistance based on a reasonable, factual basis that an emergency situation exists.

B. Definitions. The following terms or words used in this chapter shall be defined as set forth in this section:

“Emergency” means an event or set of circumstances which demands immediate action to preserve public health, life, public or private property.

“Misuse of the 911 system” is a request for emergency response when no emergency exists and when the caller does not have a good faith basis to request emergency assistance. This definition includes false reporting, as that term is defined under RCW 9A.84.040, and telephone harassment, as that term is defined under RCW 9.61.230.

“Person” includes any natural person, partnership, joint stock company, unincorporated association or society, or corporation of any character whatsoever.

C. Misuse of the 911 system – Designated. It shall be unlawful for any person to misuse the 911 system. It shall be an affirmative defense that the person charged has a good faith, reasonable, factual basis for the request.

D. Notice. Upon response to a premises at which a request for emergency assistance has been made by misuse of the 911 system, notice of the conditions and requirements of this chapter shall be given to the person requesting emergency assistance. The notice shall indicate the penalty imposed by this chapter and include information on accessing community resource programs and the 211 Community Information Line.

E. Penalties. Violations of this chapter are subject to the general penalty imposed by RMC 1.01.110. In addition to such penalty, the City may impose the following administrative sanctions upon any person who misuses the emergency response system:

1. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by state statute adopted by reference, any person identified as misusing the 911 system more than five times in a ninety (90) day period may be required to reimburse the City for the cost of emergency response with a minimum duration of no less than one hour. (Ord. 3078 § 2, 2022).