California Town Considers Fee for Alarm Response

Madera, Calif.

A Central California city is considering charging a fee to business owners and residents for police to continue to respond to their burglar alarms.

The Madera, Calif., City Council will vote Wednesday on whether to accept an alarm ordinance revision that would charge a $50 fee for three years of police response. “You’re guaranteeing that you can receive a response,” Madera Councilman Gary Svanda told the Fresno Bee. “I don’t think we’re abusing anybody for $1.50 a month.”

The move would be in response to the fact that 90 percent of burglar alarm calls received by Madera police are false, city officials said. The new ordinance would allow three free false alarms yearly for residences and eight for businesses. Each additional residential burglary response will cost $50. Robbery alarm responses will cost $75. Excess business burglary alarms will cost $100 per trip. Robbery/disturbance alarms will cost $125 for each false activation.

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