Middletown Police to Levy Fines for False Alarms
Middletown police will now be fining residents whose alarm systems habitually issue false alarms, according to a newspaper report.
The new ordinance, which was approved by the Middletown Town Council in 2005 and will take effect Jan. 1, is designed to relieve officers of having to respond to the more than 800 false alarms that occurred in 2004, most of which, Middletown police claim, resulted from user error. Each alarm requires the department to dispatch two patrol cars to the scene, according to the The Providence Journal.
The law permits single-family residences up to three free false alarms, after which fines will be levied against violators according to the following arrangement: $50 for the fourth false alarm, $75 for the fifth and $100 for the sixth and each subsequent false alarm.
Commercial properties and multifamily residences will also suffer no more than a warning for each of their first three false alarms. The fourth and fifth violations, however, carry $100 and $200 fines, respectively. Every violation after the fifth will incur upon the alarm owner a $500 fine. The fine system resets every six months, with every January and July beginning a new cycle.
Only 6 percent of the 929 alarms in 2004 were legitimate, the newspaper reported. The new ordinance will also require alarm system owners to obtain free permits for their systems.
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