County in New York Passes False Alarm Law Requiring Permits, Implementing Fines

A $50 permit is required for buildings using alarm systems that are monitored by a company that calls emergency service agencies.

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Another day, another county is addressing the ongoing issue of false alarms.

Ulster County has adopted a law that will implement fines for false alarms from private security systems, according to a Daily Freeman report.

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“We handle 1,200 false alarms a year,” Ulster Country Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum said. “That’s three … a day. A lot are visits to same location five, 10 times a year.”

Under the new law, buildings that use alarm systems will be required to obtain a $50 permit if that system is monitored by a company that calls police, fire, ambulance or emergency service agencies.

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If a false alarm comes from a location lacking a permit, the first incident will result in a warning. The second will be a $100 fine, followed by $200 fines thereafter. False alarms coming from permit holders will not be fined until their third false alarm ($50), and then will receive $200 fines for each false alarm after that.

A big reason for the new law is the distance a sheriff’s deputy has to travel when a false alarm occurs, according to VanBlarcum.

The law was passed with a 21-1 vote. Legislator Tracey Bartels was the lone “no” vote.

“We are empowering an agency of this government to tell someone that they cannot have an alarm system that they feel they require for their own personal safety,” she said. “I’ve seen other model legislation without the permitting factor but with the fines.”

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