Ohio Community to Consider Billing Property Owners for Repeated False Alarms
The mayor of Lakewood, Ohio, says he wants to stop wasting police and life-safety resources on false alarms.
LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Lakewood City Council is considering billing property owners if police are repeatedly called to homes or businesses for false burglar alarms.
Only about 3% of alarms responded to in 2014 involved actual crimes, according to city officials.
“The city safety forces are often called multiple times to an address for false alarms triggered from residential and commercial alarm service equipment malfunctions,” Summers told the City Council during a recent meeting. “Safety service response to false alarms put a financial and a time burden on our safety forces, arguably warranting a reimbursement to the city for the cost of responding to multiple false alarms at the same residence or business.”
Police Chief Timothy Malley said a small number of businesses are responsible for many of the repeat false alarms. He said employees or cleaning crews often trigger the alarms because they forget the security code. Others can be caused by equipment malfunctions.
City officials say owners would be allowed two false alarms per year without penalty. On the third alarm to which police respond, the property owner would be billed for the cost of the call.
The amount of the charge would depend on the number of officers responding and how much time they need to spend on scene before confirming whether or not an alarm is false.
Summers says, “There has to be some means of putting pressure on the property or business owner and the alarm company to correct continuous equipment malfunctions.”
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