Proposed bill could put a stop to charging domestic violence victims for calling 911

Some victims of crimes are finding they owe the city hundreds of dollars after making a call to police.

It’s a called nuisance ordinance, and someone struggling with their mental health and or drug addiction that call 911 constantly can end up paying a fine.

There are often cases where this has happened to domestic violence callers, but a proposed bill could put a stop to this.

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Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman told News Center 7′s Candance price she’s not a fan of the law, but not completely against it either.

“It gives you pause to say ‘hmm, should we really be doing this?’” Lieberman said. “It’s one of those things —where do you draw the line?”

Jane Keiffer, Executive Director of the Artemis Center, has worked with domestic abuse survivors for more than 20 years.

“We call the police because we’re afraid and we’re scared and we want someone to intervene,” Keiffer said.

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For those people, Keiffer says you shouldn’t need to draw a line.

“I don’t think there should be penalties to call for help. That’s exactly what 911 is there for,” Keiffer said. “We’re already fearful of getting in trouble.”

Keiffer says this is why she wants to see the law change.

“Typically, survivors don’t call the police until on the first incident of violence. It’s usually like the fifth or sixth time,” Keiffer said. “This would just eliminate that extra layer of ‘oh, am I going to get in trouble now if I call the police too many times?’”

The bill has been filed but is in it’s very early stages.

News Center 7 reached out to the Dayton Police Department for a comment, but they said they do not comment on pending litigation.

We also reached out to a detective in the domestic violence division at Fairborn, who said he’s never heard of a case in his jurisdiction of a domestic violence victim being charged for abusing 911.

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