Burnaby RCMP Const. Paul Fletcher, the Edmonds area neighbourhood liaison officer, stands beside one of the most troublesome nuisances in this entire district in April 1997 – a phone booth known to attract drug dealers, sex workers and pimps at the corner of Kingsway and 14th Avenue.
Fletcher urged BC Tel for weeks to remove or change the technology in a handful of pay-phone booths along the then-notorious south Kingsway “hooker stroll.”
Police hoped to find some middle ground between making the phones accessible to low-income residents in the neighbourhood while also thwarting those plying the drug and sex trades.
One idea was to enable phones to allow only emergency 911 calls between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.