False alarm ordinance watch

SSN Staff  - 
Monday, April 1, 2002

Vancouver, Wash.
Officials here and in Clark County are considering changes to the area's false alarm ordinances that would require alarm companies to verify the alarm and cancel the 911 call if the alarm was false.

According to a report in The Columbian, the changes would also raise the fines for repeat offenders and charge a fee for unregistered alarms. The fines would be $25 for the third alarm, $50 for the fourth, $75 for the fifth, and so on. The city can suspend response to the account after the sixth incident.

County officials said the 96 percent false alarm rate costs police between $50,000 and $60,000 a year and about 1,700 man hours per year, about 10 1/2 months of a deputy's time.