Critical phone systems at NWT RCMP detachments restored, say police 

The potentially dangerous disruption meant callers from communities could have faced interruptions when in urgent need of assistance

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After Monday’s internet and phone service outage caused potentially dangerous disruptions to critical communication lines between the NWT RCMP and almost a dozen small communities, the division announced Tuesday afternoon phone systems are up and running again.

On Monday night, RCMP warned the public that following the far-reaching outage, which downed internet, cable, home-phone and LTE services for several hours, calls made to NWT RCMP detachments and the Operational Communications Centre (RCMP OCC) in Yellowknife could be met with interruptions. Police advised that calls made to local detachments might not even go through, with a risk callers  wouldn’t be transferred automatically to the RCMP OCC.

The disruptions impacted Tuktoyaktuk, Fort McPherson, Fort Good Hope, Tulita, Deline, Fort Liard, Fort Providence, Fort Resolution, Norman Wells, Behchoko and Whati, states Monday’s news release from RCMP.

The interruptions forced RCMP to tell people who may have needed to make calls related to an urgent, potentially life-threatening situations, to attend their local detachment in person to receive further instructions from police.

Following efforts from technicians and police partners to resolve the issue, RCMP stated Tuesday, “to the best of their knowledge, the phone systems for local RCMP detachment ‘1111’ numbers are operating normally,” including call transfers to RCMP OCC in Yellowknife, stated the news release.

RCMP spokesperson Marie York-Condon thanked territory residents for their patience “as we work to ensure call lines are operational.”

RCMP continue to investigate Monday’s outage, which police believe was the result of vandalism to a fibre optic cable line.

A probe into another suspected act of vandalism, which took down Internet and phone communications for hours on July 13, remains active.

Police are investigating whether or not the two incidents are linked.

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As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility to be there - day or night, rain or shine. When I’m not at court gathering stories, I’m in the office, making calls to lawyers, emailing RCMP and tracking down sources. After hours, I rely on the public to let me know what’s happening and where. Entering my second winter in Yellowknife since leaving my hometown of Peterborough, Ont., in October 2017, everyday on this beat continues to be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Got a story? Call me at (867) 766-8288 or shoot me an email at editorial@nnsl.com.

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