Kansas Community to Begin False Alarm Fine Program

Residents and business owners will be required to register alarm systems and face fines for repeated nuisance alarms.

SALINA, Kansas – City officials here have launched a false alarm fine program to stem police dispatches to nuisance alarms. From 2009 until 2013, the police department responded to more than 11,000 alarm calls, for both homes and businesses. When the city crunched the numbers, they found only 41 of those calls involved actual emergencies or crimes, according to KSNW-TV.

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Police responded to 2,056 calls last year, four of those were emergency calls. The others were false alarms. Soon, it will end up costing offenders. Police will still respond to all residential alarm calls, but the information they gather at the scene will be passed to an outside company that will evaluate the call.

If there is no evidence of criminal or attempted criminal offense, then it will be determined a false alarm and end with a fee that starts at $25. Alarm-system training, which could result in waving a fine, will be offered to mitigate nuisance alarms, KSNW-TV reports.

It will cost Salina residents $25 annually to get a permit for an alarm system. A third-party service provider will maintain a database of users and companies. False alarms will cost between $25 and $200 for permit holders. If residents and business owners have a permit, the fines will run from $100 to $350. If you accumulate four or more false alarms in a year, residents and business owners may be placed on suspension.

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“When you have 2,056 alarms you respond to and all but four of them are false, pretty soon, you start getting that in your mindset, it’s just a false call. There’s no big hurry,” Salina Police Communications Supervisor Wayne Pruitt told KSNW-TV.

The Salina police department has six officers per shift. They send two to alarms calls, diverting them from other potential calls. When a fire alarm comes in, the Salina fire department sends 12 firefighters. Salina Fire Marshal Roger Williams tells KSNW-TV all those resources add up.

“I haven’t sat down and worked out the full fiscal impact on that, but you figure fire trucks. They’re heavy, they’re diesel. Diesel’s now, for some reason, more expensive than gasoline,” Williams said.

The fire department will determine whether they’ll rely on an outside alarm system company to figure out what are false alarm calls.

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