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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Shreveport, LA
    Posts
    190

    False alarm penalties (want opinions)

    Shreveport has recently established an 'alarm ordinance' due to the number of false alarm calls that officers are going on. Now some of those business owners are threatening to vote against a tax renewal this Spring to keep the pay raises the police and fire depts.
    Here is the link to the article, I just wanted to get everyone's opinion on the whole thing.

    http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/...601300325/1002

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Dana Point,CA
    Posts
    52,752
    We have that around here , at least in some places. IMO it works and is a good thing.
    I was consulting for a builder in Anaheim HIlls and the alarms in his models kept going off at night. It was usually the error of one of the sales people and nearly always preventable. Once the fines started coming in, it magically stopped, because the sales people were motivated to make sure they had taken all precautions before setting the alarm at night.The fines were coming out of their paychecks so worth the extra couple minutes to secure properly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    10,829
    I am aware of several cities/counties that do a similar thing. It DOES get the business owners' attention. The most common I'm aware of is a fine after the 3rd false alarm within a one year period.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    portland, Ore
    Posts
    18,228
    Agreed Dawgie,

    It's the same in my metro area for biz and residential customers alike, and usually $50 after the 3rd false alarm in a year when the customer doesn't call in to cancel the call.

    Many cities have gone to police not responding to alarms, like Salt Lake City and Eugene Or, until a security co has physically looked at the property and then called police if they see something suspicious.

    It does make people more consciencious about their alarms. If one is properly instructed in the use of an alarm system, you won't have false alarms!

    Scandi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    11,210
    Quote Originally Posted by scandi
    Agreed Dawgie,

    It's the same in my metro area for biz and residential customers alike, and usually $50 after the 3rd false alarm in a year when the customer doesn't call in to cancel the call.

    Many cities have gone to police not responding to alarms, like Salt Lake City and Eugene Or, until a security co has physically looked at the property and then called police if they see something suspicious.

    It does make people more consciencious about their alarms. If one is properly instructed in the use of an alarm system, you won't have false alarms!

    Scandi
    The figures you have quoted sound fair.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,568
    I was a police dispatcher for a time... If I can convey one message it is this: The police are sent on SO MANY calls responding to alarms that end up being false alarms, that it really, really taxes our police departments resources. Three things are happening or could happen as a result of all these false alarm calls, none are very good.
    1. The police are getting more and more lax in responding to these calls, that one of these times, there will be a real emergency- and it will take the cops forever to get there because they think it's 'just another alarm call'. You can imagine the worst case scenario there....

    2. While they are responding to- and investigating these false alarm calls, the police may not be able to respond to OTHER emergencies as quickly as they would otherwise. They have to secure a scene before leaving it in the case of an alarm. If they have to leave quickly, there would be unnecessary time wasted securing it and or waiting for a keyholder if they need to get out of there in a hurry.

    3. Wasted police resources. Financially. That affects all of us. Our tax money, etc... The response time if it is US that has an emergency.
    Last edited by mssheila; 01-30-2006 at 07:54 PM. Reason: clarity

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    10,829
    Quote Originally Posted by mssheila
    I was a police dispatcher for a time... If I can convey one message it is this: The police are sent on SO MANY calls responding to alarms that end up being false alarms, that it really, really taxes our police departments resources. Three things are happening or could happen as a result of all these false alarm calls, none are very good.
    1. The police are getting more and more lax in responding to these calls, that one of these times, there will be a real emergency- and it will take the cops forever to get there because they think it's 'just another alarm call'. You can imagine the worst case scenario there....
    Excellent points (all of them!), but I quoted your #1. It is, unfortunately, true. It is common - when pulling up the address of an alarm, the dispatchers see the history of that address, and can see there's a history of false alarms. The actual officers, if they work that "beat area" probably also know they've visited that property for a high number of false alarms. Human nature is that their guard will be down a little because of this, try as hard as they may to fight that behavior.

    By the way, thank you for your previous work as a dispatcher...and kudos to any current ones that may be a WS'er! Tough, stressful job! (Our agency is having a difficult time keeping dispatchers - high stress, shift work, and pretty low pay.)

    Off an a tangent, but a little bit related....

    Another waste of resources that is a pet peeve of mine, that costs the taxpayers A LOT and valuable time of LE and fire departments - people who call the ambulance as a taxi service when they're NOT in a medical emergency, or they've got 5-6 family members standing around who could drive them to the hospital, but they chose to call 911 for medical aid. Depending on where you live, that could be both the ambulance service and the fire department, and depending on the area, maybe LE. It can get to the point that it's similar to the false fire or burglar alarms mentioned above. I can tell you names of "repeat customers" and my BF, a fire fighter, can do the same. We've even compared stories - "yep, you familiar with _____ _____" on 18th Street?" Yep... Please do not confuse this with those that are unsure of what is/isn't a medical emergency, or have no transportation or ... But, use it as a taxi service. The stories would amaze you sometimes. Off my little pet-peeve rant.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,568
    Deputydawg: That is for SURE.. the Ambulance as a taxi service... It still amazes me. I've never taken a trip in an ambulance, and have had my own share of emergencies. Unless your life is seriously in danger without immediate medical care, you really need to get yourself to the hospital. There are so many legit ambulance calls, that they are busy enough just on emergencies... Anyway, I wanted to say 'I hear you'.



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