Repeated false alarms would bring fines | July 25, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

News - July 25, 2018

Repeated false alarms would bring fines

At the urging of Police Chief Steve McCulley, who says responding to false alarms wastes more than 900 hours a year of Atherton Police Department officers' time, Atherton's City Council has given preliminary approval to a new town ordinance that would impose a $400 fine for the fourth and subsequent false alarms in any 12-month period.

The fine would apply to any false alarm requiring a police response, whether or not the system is directly monitored by the police department. If the police are notified that an alarm is false before responding, it will not be counted.

The town offers to monitor the alarm systems on Atherton properties at no cost.

The ordinance would also increase the fee for registering an alarm with the town from $61 to $100, and add an annual fee of $50.

In an extreme case, where more than 12 false alarm responses are required in a 12-month period, the town would require the property to be monitored by a private alarm company after a 30-day grace period.

The first three false alarm responses would solicit a warning letter from the police department.

— By Barbara Wood

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