False Alarm Update: Milwaukee, New Haven, Oklahoma City


A local legislator in Milwaukee is attempting to get the
city’s police department to abandon a plan to require
verified response to alarms beginning Sept. 19. The move by
an alderman with the Milwaukee Common Council comes after
an effort by the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm
Association (WBFAA) to send letters to more than 50,000
alarm customers, urging them to contact their alderman and
state legislature to urge that the policy be overturned.

Milwaukee police
announced on July 16
that they would no longer
respond to burglar alarms unless they have been verified in
person by an alarm company. Alderman Tony Zielinski told
the Journal-Sentinel that residents and business
owners have a right to expect the Police Department to
respond promptly, even when they are paying a private
company to maintain the alarm system. He says he has met
with Milwaukee Police Chief Nannette Hegerty and proposed
that a system of fines for false alarm abusers be put in
place instead of a verified response policy.

Milwaukee already fines $50 after a third false dispatch.
Zielinski is proposing a $150 fine for a first false alarm,
$300 for a second and $450 for false alarms after that
within a calendar year. Zielinski plans to introduce the
proposal for the fine and the halt to verified response at
the council’s Sept. 1 meeting. However, it isn’t likely
that the council will be able to take any action until
Sept. 21 – two days after verified response goes into

In other false alarm news…

NEW HAVEN, Conn.:The police chief pf New Haven, Conn.,
has put on hold his push for a verified response policy in
the city after a public outcry at a subcommittee meeting of
the New Haven Board of Alderman.

The July 26 subcommittee meeting saw a packed room and the
unusual occurrence of all 28 aldermen attending the
meeting, according to WVIT NBC 30-TV. Police Chief
Francisco Ortiz had started the meeting with the proposal
that police only respond to alarms where someone on site
has verified the alarm. After strong reaction by speakers
at the meeting, Ortiz backed off the proposal.

“Actually, tonight, you know, to be quite honest with you,
I was humbled and somewhat embarrassed,” Ortiz told the
meeting according to NBC 30. “I’ve heard some remarkable
stories about the police officers responding to folks’

Ortiz says he will do more research and come up with a new
proposal on how to deal with false alarms.

OKLAHOMA CITY:Oklahoma City has decided to waive
more that $33,000 in false alarm fines that have been
accrued this year by Oklahoma City schools after school
district officials said they would do more to train staff
on the proper operation of security and fire alarm

Police in Oklahoma City have responded to 668 false alarms
at schools, according to The Associated Press. In
addition to the training, the district will also hire a
second alarm company to monitor alarm systems to avoid
having police respond to alarms.

“We don’t want to put anyone in a position where they
cannot function” Deidra Brown, alarm coordinator for
Oklahoma City, told the AP. “We do understand they
have budget problems and so many people going in and out
(of buildings). We don’t want to put a hardship on them.”

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan.:A city council committee in
the town near Kansas City has rejected a proposal to create
a system of fines for false alarm abusers and require
residents to register their alarm systems.

According to the Kansas City Star, Prairie Village
will not implement the policy, but did ask Police Chief
Charles Grover to report back to the council if the number
of false alarm calls increase dramatically.

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