Bay Area City May Hire Contractor to Handle False Alarm Fines

The Vallejo Police Department wants to contract out the supervision of more than 6,000 false alarms a year as the city council deliberates the proposal.

Police estimate about 97 percent of the alarms they respond to annually are false, and eat up about 11 percent of officers’ time, according to the Times-Herald. In 2007, the city began charging residents and business owners a fee after false alarms rose in volume.

Since then, the department only has managed to collect about 41 percent of about $340,000 in fees due the city for the false alarms annually, the newspaper reported.

Vallejo Police Chief Robert Nichelini wants to hire false alarm management company CryWolf False Alarm Solutions to step up efforts to enforce the ordinance, according to the newspaper.

The company would take over for already overloaded communications department personnel, and be paid out of the fees collected, rather than with an up-front cost, department Support Services Coordinator Bill Powell told the newspaper. The proposed one-year contract includes an option to renew if it proves successful in bringing more revenue to the city and/or reducing false alarm calls, he said.

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