False Alarm Update: Milwaukee, Springfield

MILWAUKEE

The Milwaukee Common Council’s Public Safety Committee has
rejected measures that were offered as alternatives to the
decision by Milwaukee’s police chief to switch to verified
response, while approving a measure that would revoke an
alarm company’s license if it cannot prove it would be able
to provide a first response to alarms. Police say that as
of Sept. 19, they won’t respond to alarms that aren’t
verified by an alarm company representative at the site of
the call.

The committee on Sept. 9 tabled without consideration a
measure from Alderman Tony Zielinski that would increase
false alarm fines as an alternative to the verified
response policy. Milwaukee Police Chief Nannette Hegerty
said earlier in the week that she wouldn’t back away from
her plan, announced July
16
, to initiate verified
response no matter what measures the council passes.

In response, Zielinski has asked the Milwaukee County
Sheriff to have his deputies provide an initial response to
alarm calls, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
However, a spokesman for Sheriff David Clarke Jr. says he
has already rejected that request.

“I think we need to pursue and combat this initiative [from
Hegerty] by any means necessary,” Zielinski said during the
Sept. 19 committee meeting.

By a 4-1vote, the committee voted not to recommend a
measure that would ask Hegerty to hold off on verified
response until a task force could study the false alarm
problem. However, while recommending against the pro-alarm
industry measure, the council approved by a 4-1 vote a
measure that supports the verified response policy and
would revoke the licenses of companies that are unable to
comply with it.

Both measures will go before the full Common Council on
Sept. 21 – two days after the new policy goes into
effect.

In other false alarm news …

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.: Springfield’s city council will
consider in October an amendment that would increase fees
for excessive false alarms.

According to The Republican, the amendment would
allow one free false alarm, then assess a $100 fine for the
second and $250 for each false alarm after that in a
calendar year.

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