Redding Police Track Down Unpaid False Alarm Fines
Redding homeowners may be charged with violating a town ordinance after not paying for false alarm fines from last year. The local police department has sent fine notices to homes that had three or more false alarms in 2007.
So far in 2008, police have responded to 177 false alarms; in 2007, 762 alarms; and in 2006, they responded to 697 false alarms, according to The Redding Pilot. Police Chief Douglas Fuchs says the police response is the equivalent of 27,920 minutes, or 19 days spent responding to preventable false alarms.
In 2001, the town passed an ordinance that assesses fines for every alarm response in excess of three. A copy of the fine structure is attached to a resident’s or business owner’s invoice. The first two false alarms within a fiscal year carry no fines. The third false alarm within that year carries a written warning. With the fourth false alarm comes a fine of $50 per occurrence, which increases by $25 for each consecutive false alarm.
In the past, the town billed every six months, which was “extremely labor intensive and cost prohibitive,” says Chief Fuchs. As an alternative, officers are instructed to leave a hang tag on residences to alert homeowners that the Redding Police Department had responded to investigate a false alarm.
Chief Fuchs said he has been in contact with the tax collector to determine whether the fines may be attached to tax bills. If they can’t, homeowners who have not paid fines will be subject to an arrest.
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