New Orleans False Alarms Down to 11%

NEW ORLEANS—New Orleans law enforcement report that false alarms are down from 20 percent in 1997 to 11 percent in 2000. Authorities attribute this, in large part, to an ordinance that went into effect more than two years ago, along with the Target Zero program, a cooperative program in which police and alarm companies pledge to fight false alarms through communication with customers. The law requires alarm owners to register their alarms and residents and businesses that have had more than five false alarms annually to pay a fine. Abusers who have 20 or more false alarms in a year are cut off from police response to their alarms until they pay their fines, and/or upgrade their systems. Since false alarms have been such a chronic problem, authorities in the Big Easy have been advocating free classes for repeat offenders, as well as an instructional video and tips on the New Orleans Police Department’s Web site. So far, with these deterrents in place, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

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