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False Alarms

I have never felt the need to be normal or try to fit in and be popular.  My new job is a perfect example of this characteristic.  I am the supervisor of a False Alarm Reduction Unit for a local law enforcement agency.  You can bet that I am  popular with the neighbors when they receive an invoice from my office.  A recent open house at one of our stations highlighted the need for more public awareness of false alarms and the impact that they have on a law enforcement agency.  Unfortunately, this is not just a local issue.  Hundreds of jurisdictions across the country have enacted legislation to address this growing problem.  My unit and the other units like mine are tasked with enforcing the legislation.

A false alarm as defined by many jurisdictions is an alarm dispatch request by an alarm monitoring center where the responding officer finds no evidence of a crime or an attempted crime.  This means that all alarms where no crime or evidence of a crime is found are considered false alarms.  Each jurisdiction with legislation has its own scale for how they will recoup the cost of responding to these alarms.  Many will allow 1 or 2 false alarms before assessing fines but some charge from the first alarm.  Most jurisdictions also require registration of the alarm system and will charge extra fees for an unregistered site that has a false alarm.

I urge you to check with your hometown or your alarm company to see if there are any regulations that govern the use of an alarm system in your area.

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