November 2013 - Posts

Henderson County, NC, Working on Alarm Ordinance

The Henderson County, NC, Sheriff's Dept. says they responded to over 2,000 false business and home alarm calls last year.

Capt. Frank Stout says the false calls cost them about $50,000 last year and the sheriff's office would like to county to create an ordinance to deal with the problem.

Stout says they are working with the county attorney to develop and ordinance that would fine repeat false alarm offenders.

ABC Chicago Reports of Cut Phone Lines to Disable Alarms

Chicago's ABC affiliate reports on alarm systems that were rendered useless with thieves cut the phone line, allowing them to empty a pharmacy of all its narcotics stock. The video segment ends with advice to inform system's to include multiple communications channels to provide the highest level of protection.

Click here Nov. 21, 2013 segment on ABC Chicago.

Middle Township, NJ, Reduces False Alarms by 31% with Ordinance

Middle Township, NJ, police officers have been responding to fewer false burglary alarm calls since a new program was implemented in 2010.

That has meant that officers can focus their attention on other areas of law enforcement instead of responding to a false alarm, according to Middle Township Police Chief Chris Leusner.

“The false alarm program has exceeded my expectations,” he said.

The program is intended to get people to register their alarms to maintain the reliability of and to properly use their systems. The ordinance, adopted by Township Committee in 2010, also includes permit fees, and fines for police having to respond to false alarms.

For each false alarm, two officers respond and spend an average of 25 minutes on scene. Now the officers are able to do other law enforcement tasks, thanks to the ordinance, Leusner said.

Since 2009, the program has resulted in a 31-percent reduction in false alarms, he said.

So far this year there have been just over 700 false alarms. From 2009 to 2010, there was a 4.7-percent decrease in false alarm calls, a 23.4-percent reduction from 2010-11, and from 2011-12, it went down by 6.7 percent.

Before putting in the place the new program in 2010, about 400 alarm systems were registered in the township. Today, the township has about 1,000 alarm systems signed up.

Prescott Valley, AZ, to Pass Alarm Ordinance

The Prescott Valley, AZ, Town Council is poised to adopt an ordinance cracking down on false alarms, and add 135 acres within the Prescott Country Club to the town's boundaries.

The council is scheduled to conduct the second reading of an ordinance on Nov. 21 that stiffens the fines of businesses and individuals whose alarms set off when they are not supposed to and trigger a response by police.

The ordinance, which will go into effect 30 days after the vote, will encourage responsible use of alarm systems by tracking incidents of false alarms and requiring owners to register their alarms after the first false alarm goes off, according to a staff report from Candi McElhaney. She is the administrative supervisor for Interim Police Chief James Edelstein.

Violators would face a civil fine of $52 after the first false alarm over a year-long period with the intent of offsetting the costs of dispatching police to the homes or businesses where the alarms went off. Edelstein has estimated that only 1 percent of the responses are for alarms in which actual crimes, such as burglary, occurred.