MESA, Ariz. — The police department here is seeking to amend the city’s false alarm ordinance to recover the costs from responding to more than 11,000 false alarms each year.
Mesa Police Department (MPD) spends more than $654,000 annually to respond to false alarms; however, only about half of that is recovered through fines that range from $50 for the first violation and up to $400 for the seventh and all subsequent false alarms, according to the East Valley Tribune.
Currently, police can only fine residents who hold an alarm permit, which are not mandatory. MPD, however, says roughly 20 percent of false alarm calls are from homes without a permit. If police could fine every person with a false alarm, the city would collect more than $300,000 a year, according to the newspaper.
The MPD maintains the loophole deters residents from having a permit and asked the city to mandate that all alarm systems be registered. The city’s public safety committee has agreed to the police department’s request to eliminate the loophole, which must be approved by the city council.
Other requested revisions to the ordinance include requiring alarm companies to educate their customers on how alarm systems work, as well as instituting a 72-hour deadline to fix malfunctioning systems.
The Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) supports the proposed changes, according to MPD.
Source: East Valley Tribune