Minneapolis Alarm Owners May Face Fees, Large Fines


Minneapolis is deliberating on whether to implement a policy fining alarm system owners for false alarm signals in addition to requiring them to pay annual registration fees, according to a newspaper report.

The alarm registration fees would be $15 for residences and $40 for businesses, and the fines could range anywhere from $200 to $400 once a third false alarm is triggered.

The proposal is the result of the city’s frustration with the high false alarm rate, which exceeded 84 percent of 17,000 signals in 2006, the Star Tribune reported. The city spends an estimated $800,000 responding to alarms. The proposed ordinance is intended to recover approximately $370,000 of that money.

According to Ricardo Cervantes, the city’s deputy director of licensing and consumer services, the resources lost in false dispatches could be used to finance eight new city jobs.

Some members of the city council’s Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee, which considered the ordinance on Jan. 3, are opposed to the ordinance, the newspaper reported.

The newspaper reported that a resident who spoke before the committee said the annual registration fee component of the proposed policy is unfair to responsible alarm owners. Fining alarm owners for false alarms, he told the committee, is justified on the basis that it targets perpetual violators.

A decision on the proposed ordinance has been postponed until further review.

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