Lafayette (Ind.) Sends Warning Letters to False Alarm Offenders

Businesses and homeowners are being reminded of a false alarm ordinance that comes with a fine.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Police officials here say homeowners and businesses could face fines if their alarm systems continue to generate false alarms.

Nearly 100% of security alarms that LPD responded to last year turned out to not be nuisance alarms, according to WLFI-TV. Officers responded to 3,457 alarms last year or almost 10 a day. But just 19 of those were legitimate alarms, requiring police action, according WLFI.

Lt. Brian Gossard told the television station those 19 calls ended up being burglaries or vandalism of some kind. He said the false alarms could be anything from user error to debris flying into motion sensors.

Gossard said the goal is to free up officers so they can respond to other calls that might actually require police activity. He said when all man-hours were added up, responding to false alarms was costly for the department.

“When you total it all up and put a dollar amount in front of it, it’s probably about $50,000 just in labor, man-hours,” Gossard said.

The police department’s Crime Prevention Unit is in the process of meeting with the businesses that have had several false alarms, according to WLFI. Letters will also be sent to residents with home alarm systems, reminding them of a city ordinance that comes with a fine. Gossard said the ordinance has been in place since the 1980s, the department just hasn’t had to enforce until now.

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