Illinois City Prepares for False Alarm Crackdown

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The city council here unanimously voted to amend its alarm ordinance in an effort to avoid costly and time-consuming false alarms.

The Champaign Police Department reported spending $111,717 to respond to 2,555 alarms at residential and commercial properties in 2012. Of those alarms, only 19 were legit, The News-Gazette reports.

The city has had its current ordinance in place since 1989, and fees have not changed in 25 years. As part of the new policy, alarm owners will now have to pay a $20 annual permit renewal fee, which is estimated to bring in $87,260 annually.

It will cost from $10 to $50 for home and business owners to register their new alarms with the city. Under the ordinance, offenders will have to pay $100 after three false alarms and $150 after nine false alarms.

The city expects the new fine schedule to bring in $32,550. Overall, the entire program, including registration fees and false alarm fines, is expected to bring in $142,410 annually.

The new ordinance also calls for alarm companies to implement enhanced call verification.

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