False Alarm Update: Springfield, Mansfield, Turlock
The city council in Springfield has approved a new alarm
ordinance that establishes fines for excessive false
alarms. The southern Massachusetts city, about 27 miles
north of Hartford, Conn., has been debating a new alarm
ordinance since September.
The council unanimously approved on Dec. 20 an ordinance
that allows an alarm owner two “free” false alarms before
fines kick in, according to The Republican. That is
a change from the initial proposal for the ordinance of
just one free false alarm.
After that, fines will start at $25 for a third false alarm
offense within a year, $50 for the fourth, $100 for the
fifth and $200 for subsequent violations.
The ordinance will take effect in March.
In other false alarm news…
MANSFIELD, Ohio:The city council in the Ohio city, which sits in the middle of the state between Columbus and Cleveland, amended its alarm ordinance Dec. 21 to double its fine for false alarms.
Under the revision, an alarm owner will now pay a $40 fine for a fourth false alarm within a year.
According to the News Journal, the change takes effect immediately, meaning that an alarm owner who already has three false alarms to their name within the last couple of months will receive the double fine if they commit a fourth.
TURLOCK, Calif.: Turlock police will begin to respond to burglar alarms only if someone can verify that help is warranted, according to the Modesto Bee. The understaffed department is not equipped to handle the all-too-common false alarms and will soon enforce a policy to cut down on the time wasted by officers responding to false alarms. Police officials hope to have the policy in place by July 1.
“When you total up the time spent to roll on these calls, it takes a real toll,” says Police Chief Lonald Lott. He says only 1 percent of alarms turn out to be valid. With the new policy, alarms would be verified by someone on the property, a neighbor on watch or by an alarm company using surveillance equipment. The policy would not apply to robbery alarms at banks and stores.
The police department has tried issuing fines and warning letters. Regardless, the false-alarm rate remains at 99 percent with an average of 10 false alarms a day in Turlock.
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