Lafayette (Ind.) Using Software Vendor to Collect False Alarm Fines

The police department has implemented the CryWolf software platform to administer false alarm ordinance violations.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Lafayette Police Department will implement Public Safety Corporation’s CryWolf software to enforce false alarms in 2016, the police department announced.

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The software platform “assists municipalities in administering false alarm ordinance violations,” according to a press release. Hundreds of cities, counties and other municipalities across the United States and Canada use PSC technologies and services to manage and bill alarm system fees, collect false alarm fines, among other related services. The service is provided for a percentage of the fines collected.

The partnership should give LPD officers more time to patrol neighborhoods, according to the police department. In 2014, LPD spent an estimated 1,648 man hours to investigate more than 3,400 false alarms.

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“Police will still respond, we’ll still ensure that nothing has been broken into,” says LPD Lt. Brian Gossard.  “But Public Safety Corporation is going to handle the back-end, administrative tasks of reviewing the calls that we responded to and issuing fines when necessary.”

Since January, LPD has been working with business owners to reduce the occurrence of false alarms. In July 2015, the police department began enforcing an ordinance that had been on the books since 1987.

The ordinance allows the city to impose fines on property owners whose alarm systems call out police when there is no emergency.

A $25 fine is imposed for each of the first three false alarms. The fee increases to $50 for each of the next three false alarms, then $100 for each of the next three false alarms. The fine jumps to $200 per occurrence after police have responded to nine false alarms at one location.

The penalties will be assessed based on the number of false alarms per calendar year per location, whether it’s a business or residence.

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