California Town Considers False Alarm Fine Hike


The city council in Oceanside, Calif., was to decide Sept.
1 whether to increase fees for residences and businesses
that repeatedly cause police officers to respond to false
alarms from their burglar alarm systems. The council of the
city just north of San Diego will vote on changing its
alarm ordinance to fine alarm owners for a second false
alarm within a calendar year.

Currently, Oceanside fines $50 for a third false alarm but
the council will debate whether to make the fine apply to a
second false call. A tougher proposal to fine for all false
alarms failed to pass the council in May. The fine itself
could be increased during a public hearing should the Sept.
1 measure pass.

Police Capt. Reggie Grigsby told the North County
that 99 percent of the 5,941 alarm calls it
responded to in 2003 were false. “Responding to false
alarms is not a good use of resources,” Grigsby told the
Times. “The vast majority of residents should not be
subsidizing the small number of residents (who have) false

While Oceanside Mayor Terry Johnson has expressed support
for the measure, Councilman Rocky Chavez told the
Times that he will not support the measure, seeing
it as a tax.

The council’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Sept. 1.

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