Ford County Commission cracks down on false alarms

SSN Staff  - 
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DODGE CITY, Kan.—A Dec. 7 story from the Dodge City Daily Globe reports the Ford County Commission voted Dec. 6 to crack down on false alarms by charging repeat offenders a $25 fee for each alarm, with an exception for weather-related alarms. The first false alarm each month would be free, but the user would pay the fee for each one after that.

“That makes the people who own alarms a little bit more responsible,” said Ford County Communications director Linda Smith in the story. “And also, if they do have a malfunctioning alarm, it makes the alarm company more responsible to fix that for them.”

The fee is not new, but the provision allowing the county to bill alarm users after the second false alarm each month is. In the past, the county would not charge the fee until the fifth false alarm.

Alarm users who have to pay the fee will get a month to settle their bill with the Ford County Communications Center. If they don’t pay within 30 days, the county will begin charging interest at the rate of 1.5 percent per month, and any unpaid fees would be referred to a collection agency after 90 days.

Smith said the county will still respond to alarms, even if the user does not pay the fee.

“In the original ordinance, I believe it did state that we would not respond if they were not up to date,” she said in the story. “That’s another thing that we wanted to address. Just take that out.”