False Alarm Update: Indianapolis, Wichita, Atkins

INDIANAPOLIS

False alarm fines are proving to be a budget windfall for
Indianapolis as it tries to recover from budget woes.
Indianapolis city officials say they expect to collect more
than $600,000 in fines for false alarms this year – more
than double what they had expected to bring.

The Indianapolis Star reports Indianapolis Police
have issued more than $450,000 in fines for responses to
false alarms and have collected $250,931. The city’s alarm
ordinance was revised in 2000 that set up fees for false
alarms and set up a new computer system to track false
alarm calls. Property owners receive a warning for their
first false alarm within a year, while the second false
alarm mean a $25 fine; the third, $50; fourth, $75; and
fifth or more, $100 each. The revenue from the fines will
go to the Indianapolis Police Department’s general fund.

Because Indianapolis requires alarm companies to register
all systems they handle, police are also receiving a large
amount of fines from alarm companies, which are charged
$100 each time the city cannot track a false alarm. Lisa
Prosser, president of Indianapolis’ General Alarm who also
serves as the
chairperson for the Installation Quality (IQ) Board of
Directors
, told the Star that computer glitches
in the city’s system are causing fines for incorrect or
missing addresses.

“Most of the time, we’re not given opportunity to correct
anything. We’re fined anyway” says Prosser.

In other false alarm news …

WICHITA, Kan.:The City Council in Wichita, Kan., is
considering a 2005 budget that includes increased fines for
false alarms.

According to the Wichita Eagle, the fines will rise
from $28 to $40 for false alarms on silent alarm systems
and from $40 to $50 for panic alarms. The fines will be for
each false alarm after the first.

The council will hold several public meetings before
deciding whether to approve the budget in mid-August.

ATKINS, Ark.:The City Council in Atkins, 51 miles
northwest of Little Rock, have sent a new tax ordinance to
the voters that includes fines for false fire alarms.

The Courier-News reports that by a unanimous vote,
the council placed the ordinance on a ballot in a special
Nov. 2 election.

The ordinance would set penalties for false fire alarms at
$250 for those who have not paid annual fire dues and at
$100 for offenders who have paid fire dues.

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