Savannah City Council to Vote on Verified Response Alarm Ordinance


Responding to burglar alarms in Savannah, Ga., pull cops off the beat to check into false alarms and, as a result, is a waste of time and money, says Savannah City Manager Michael Brown and Savannah Police Chief Dan Flynn. That’s why the City Council plans to vote Nov. 26 on a proposal that would change the way police handle alarms in homes and businesses.

Under the verified response system, police would only respond to burglar alarms after security companies notify them that it’s the real deal.

The council also will consider lowering the threshold for false alarms that do get through to police. Instead of allowing five false alarms before fining residents, the cutoff would be lowered to three for those who pay $50 annually to register their alarm, according to the Savannah Morning News.

People who don’t register their alarms with the city would pay $100 for even the first false alarm that draws police response. After five, the fine would be $150 per alarm, the newspaper reports.

Brown reasons in the article that responding to false alarms is “a huge waste of resources” to check out each and every home alarm. The newspaper says police responded to more than 26,000 alarms last year. Approximately 46 of those alarms turned out to be valid; the rest were about $392,000 worth of taxpayer funds.

The current system gives precedence to mechanical alarms over other calls. So while officers on the southside are trying to find a business owner whose security system has malfunctioned, someone robbed at gunpoint a few miles away may have to wait to talk to an officer.

Alderman Pete Liakakis, who owns a security company, says he’ll vote against the verified response system. He believes it would be enough to lower the threshold for false alarms and hit people in their wallets. That would spur them to upgrade to better systems, he reasons.

Liakakis believes verified response will shift the burden of providing security from the city to the public. Security companies will end up raising their rates, and customers will suffer, he said. “I think that puts a burden on the citizens,” Liakakis says in the article.

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Commercial Integrator + Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add to your bottom line.

A FREE subscription to the top resource for security and integration industry will prove to be invaluable.

Subscribe Today!

Get Our Newsletters