Pa. City to Charge Property Owners for False Dispatches


Property owners in Naticoke, located in eastern Pennsylvania, will be fined starting July 28 if the police, fire department or ambulance personnel respond to their residence or business for a false alarm, according to a newspaper report.

The first time a homeowner’s system signals a false alarm they will be fined $10, the Times Leader reported. Fees increase on a scale for a maximum of $50 on the fourth false alarm response. Valid emergency alarms will not be fined.

During a recent council meeting, it was also suggested a fixed rate administrative fee be added to cover the cost of mailing out the bill.

A previous alarm ordinance required property owners to pay an annual $125 each July to register their system with the city.

“It penalizes people that have systems that they take care of,” City Administrator Ken Johnson told the newspaper. Under the new ordinance the registration fee is waved.

Police Chief Jim Cheshinski likes the new ordinance. Before the city’s 911 system was installed, burglary alarm systems were hooked up directly to the police department, he told the newspaper. Now the alarm companies call 911 directly when an alarm alerts.

From July 1, 2006, through June 30, Nanticoke officers responded to 57 alarms, the newspaper reported. Only two of those were valid alarm calls, according to police records.

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