L.A. policy to take effect
January 1 , 2004
LOS ANGELES - When the New Year begins just after midnight here, the Los Angeles Police Department will implement a modified version of verified response for burglar alarms.
Before police will respond to an alarm, it must be verified if the home or business has had two or more false alarms in a year. This compromise plan was adopted in July as a less strict alternative to the original plan, proposed by Police Chief William Bratton about a year ago. Under that plan, police would not have responded to any alarm without verification by a surveillance camera or witness on the scene.
Along with the response policy, a new set of fines also takes effect Jan. 1. Homeowners and businesses that have city-issued permits for their alarm systems will pay $95 for the first false alarm, and $50 for each successive false alarm. Those without permits will face steeper fines of $190 for the first and $100 more for each additional false alarm. Permits will cost $31 annually.
According to the LAPD, 43 percent of false alarms in 2002 came from homes or businesses that had experienced three or more alarms in a year. The mayorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office estimates that the new policy will reduce false alarms by as much as 55 percent.