Fees Helping Reduce False Dispatches in Wilmington (N.C.)

WILMINGTON, N.C. — False alarm fees are being credited by city officials here for a reduction in the number of 911 calls that turn out to be non-emergencies, according to a news report.  

Since the city began enforcing a $50 fee for false alarms, the overall number of alerts from security systems has dropped, reports WECT.com. Deputy Police Chief Marshall Williamson of Wilmington Police Department says about 9,000 alarm calls so far this year is significantly less than the 12,000-14,000 responses needed in 2010. 

That many false alarms at $50 a piece has the city collecting $85,170 since July 1, 2011. That amount could be higher, because it only accounts for an 85% collection rate for fire-related penalties and an 83% rate for law enforcement ones, according to the report. 

Whether the money is collected or not, Deputy Chief Williamson said the shrinking number of false alarm calls has a positive effect on local law enforcement and fire response. 

“It frees the officers up to do other things that can improve and enhance the quality of life for the citizens here in Wilmington,” said Williamson. 

Source: WECT.com.


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