Alarm fines escalate in Los Angeles

SSN Staff  - 
Thursday, September 23, 2004

September 23, 2004

LOS ANGELES - After a back and forth discussion over what shape penalties for a new false alarm ordinance would take, city officials this week approved one - but it’s not what the alarm task force recommended.
The new ordinance makes it a misdemeanor for multiple false alarms. It also significantly increases the cost for false alarm fines, from$95 for three false alarms to $495.
Despite the surge in fines, the new ordinance still allows two false alarms before the city imposes a fine.
The new penalties follow an overhaul of Los Angeles’ policy on false burglar alarms. Last year the city adopted a non-response policy, but later amended that to allow two false alarms in a year before police begin non-response.
According to a press release, the Greater Los Angeles Security Alarm Association said it was disappointed with the decision. The group expressed concerns that the new penalties are structured to make money for the city and does not reflect the actual cost of responding to an alarm.
As part of the ordinance, the city is establishing a trust fund for fines. The ordinance is projected to generate as much as $15 million for the city and its coffers.