Alarm Ordinance Watch

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The News Tribune reported on Dec. 9 that Lakewood residents might get a stiffer punishment if police are called to their homes or businesses for a false alarm. To save money and hold alarm companies accountable, the Lakewood City Council is considering raising the fees it charges when police respond to false alarms. Under the proposed ordinance, which was introduced at a meeting on Dec. 8, the false alarm fee charged to residential system owners would increase to $100. If police respond to a false alarm for a robbery alarm at a business, it would cost $200. The rules also would require owners to pay an annual permit fee that’s set by the city manager. Owners could also get their first false alarm fee waived if they take an alarm user awareness class. Residents are now charged $65 per instance after the third instance. They also pay only a one-time, $15 permit fee. The city’s public safety board, which spent a year studying the proposed rule changes, also recommends holding alarm companies more accountable.Companies would need to verify what’s setting off an alarm, by witness, audio-visual confirmation.