Fairfield police: Only one 911 call on cable outage

Internet postings indicating that Fairfield residents flooded 911 with calls reporting a cable television outage were an exaggeration, police said Monday.

Sgt. Suzanne Lussier, public information officer, said her check of records showed one brief call to 911 regarding Sunday night’s massive outage affecting Cablevision customers, which left some without television, telephone and Internet service for parts of the evening.

“There was at least one call from a very concerned person,” Police Chief Gary MacNamara said. “We understand people’s level of frustration.”

However, he said, “911 is an emergency tool. We wanted to point out that 911 is not appropriate [to report a cable outage].”

Calls were coming in to multiple non-emergency numbers, MacNamara said.

“There were emergency and non-emergency calls,” MacNamara said. “Dispatch was being inundanted. The point was to stop the calls from happening.”

The Facebook and Twitter message, which Fairfield Police deleted late Monday morning, opened the town up to criticism on both Internet forums, and state and national media picked up on the reports. WVIT-TV was set up for a live shot at Fairfield Police Headquarters, 100 Reef Road, shortly after 11 a.m. Monday.

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