False Alarm Update: Tucson Hikes Fines

The city of Tucson, Ariz., is increasing the fees property owners will need to pay for excessive false alarms. By a unanimous vote, the Tucson City Council changed the alarm ordinance so that fines begin to be issued after the third,  instead of the fifth, false alarm and increased the initial fine from $125 to $165.

The new rule, drafted by a committee that included Tucson Police, the Chamber of Commerce, representatives from alarm companies, business owners, and homeowners, was passed by the council May 24. Tucson Police say they will not begin enforcement of the new false alarm rules until Jan. 1 to give security companies time to prepare.

After the $165 fine for the third false alarm, the fine will go up for each subsequent false alarm. Greg Price of Tucson’s Young Alarm told KOLD-TV that he doesn’t expects a great deal of impact from the new ordinance. “Ninety percent of our customers aren’t even going to be affected by this,” Price says. “Most of our customers have zero to one false alarms per year and they won’t even know this new ordinance is there.”

In other false alarm news:

CINCINATTI: City leaders and police officials in Cincinnati are touting new figures they say show that the city’s tougher alarm ordinance is working.
The ordinance, passed last July and put into effect Oct.  20, required all security alarm users in the city to be registered and increased the fine for a third false alarm violation to $50, which increases to $500 by the 10th incident. Each false alarm after 10 incidences carries an $800 fine.
Police say alarm calls, which averaged 2,800 a month before the law was passed, average 1,900 per month now.
“We’ve reduced hundreds of hours of wasted police runs, and that’s a huge step forward,” Cincinnati City Council Member David Pepper, who heads the council’s law committee, told the Cincinnati Post. “This allows police to be out on the streets instead.” Part of the city’s efforts include police holding alarm user awareness classes to help people reduce their number of false alarms. More than 150 people have participated in the classes so far.


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