False alarm ordinance watch

SSN Staff  - 
Sunday, February 1, 2004

Baltimore

City Councilor Lisa Joi Stancil introduced a proposal in mid-January that would pass along city-imposed burglar alarm registration fees to monitoring companies, according to the Baltimore Sun. The city enacted a law in April 2002 that required registration fees for security systems and imposed fines for repeated false alarms.

The annual registration fee is $20, and alarm companies pay $50 per year to register. Companies that do not register will be fined $1,000. There are no fines for customers for the first two false alarms. Beyond that, fines range from $50 for the third to $1,000 for the 14th false alarm for residential customers. Businesses pay as much as $2,000. At present, police file criminal citations for excessive false alarms once civil remedies have been exhausted. Stancil’s bill would strike this criminal punishment and eliminate fines for those who own unmonitored alarms.
Louisville, Ky.

Police here have asked Mayor Jerry Abramson and some within the alarm industry to come up with a legislative proposal that would use a fine system to help lower the number of false alarms they respond to annually.
According to the (Louisville) Courier-Journal, police records show that in 2002 the department responded to more than 43,000 alarms, 42,960 of which were false. Based on the estimated 19,000 hours of police time required to respond to those false alarms, the department wasted approximately $500,000.