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Alleged leak of 'sensitive data' to organized crime leads to charges against 911 call taker

The Calgary Police Service and the City of Calgary held a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the 911 call taker who has been charged. (James Young/CBC - image credit)
The Calgary Police Service and the City of Calgary held a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the 911 call taker who has been charged. (James Young/CBC - image credit)

A year-long police probe has led to a 911 call taker in Calgary being charged with what investigators describe as "intentionally sharing protected information for organized crime purposes."

Police say they became aware protected information had been released during the course of an unrelated investigation in December 2022.

In January 2023, one woman was arrested but released without charge pending further investigation, according to a police statement issued Thursday.

Police say investigators found over 200 pictures of sensitive data on the woman's devices obtained through search warrants.

According to the statement, investigators determined search data on individuals connected to organized crime was pulled and then provided to other individuals also involved in organized crime.

"Investigators believe she used her position to access the information," reads the statement. "No other employees of Calgary 911 are believed to have known or have been involved with this activity."

Police say Mariana Buonincontri, 58, has been charged with breach of trust, fraudulent use of a computer system with intent to obtain computer services and wilfully committing mischief in relation to computer data.

Buonincontri was placed on leave in January 2023 and has not been working since, said Iain Bushell, the City of Calgary's director of emergency management and community safety

"We will be doing a robust review of all of our processes and procedures," said Bushell to reporters Thursday.

He said the city conducts criminal background checks and audit processes for new employees. It also has a no-phone policy in the centre.

Buonincontri, who has been released from custody, is set to appear in court next month.