New York False Alarm Bill May Propagate Problem

MINEOLA, N.Y. — Officials in Nassau County are working to pass a bill that would reduce false alarms by imposing stiffer fines. 

The bill would encourage homeowners and businesses to obtain alarm permits by increasing fines after the first four false alarms for permit holders. This would help offset an estimated $6 million in police salaries and expenses the county lost last year responding to false alarms. 

In 2006, the Nassau County Police Department responded to 107,870 alarms, 99.4 percent of which were false. “Allowing four free dispatches only encourages problem alarm users to do nothing to correct the problem,” says Bart Didden, president of the U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp. in Port Chester, N.Y., and member of SSI’s Editorial Advisory Board. 

“Many of the issues that the industry has with this legislation could easily have been avoided by communication with the industry,” continues Didden. “The single commonality of every successful program in the country is open communication between the industry and local government.”

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