Fontana (Calif.) Police Seek to Implement New False Alarm Policy


The police department in Fontana, Calif., is working toward implementing a policy that would require alarms to be verified by alarm companies before deputies are dispatched to the scene. The department commissioned a Cal State San Bernardino study on false alarms, according to the San Bernardino County Sun.

Between July 2005 and June 2006, Fontana police officers responded to 8,529 burglar alarms with about 99 percent of the alarms being false. Responding to the false alarms cost the department $255,000 in manpower, police said.

Beginning Oct. 1, all residential and commercial burglary alarms must be verified by the alarm company via audio, video, private security guards or eyewitnesses before police officers are dispatched. If an alarm is not verified, officers will search recent reports and respond to the scene if a report had been filed within the past 72 hours.

California Alarm Association (CAA) President Jon Sargent calls the verified response policy a bad one, according to the paper.

“When you pass a blanket policy for a city to do a verified response for everyone, it punishes the majority of alarm users that don’t have false alarms,” Sargent told the paper.

Sargent said he suggests those who have repeated false alarms be required to use verified response.

Current Fontana policy requires residents and businesses pay a $63 fine after their fourth false alarm in a 12-month period.

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