November 23, 2014
Burglar Alarms mean peace of mind for the homes and businesses they protect. Unfortunately, only 1% of the 3,500 to 4,000 intusion alarms recieved each year are valid.
Last winter, in an effort to combat the wasted resources do to false alarms, the Sparks Police announced that they would no longer respond to unverified alarms. This move drew quick and sharp criticism from alarm companies and their customers.
Now, almost a year later, Sparks Police have a new proposal. Gone is the threat of no response. Under the proposed ordinance, when an alarm sounds, the alarm company is required to try to verify it through 2 different contacts before dispatching police. This will hopefully reduce responses to false alarms by 50%.
The proposal would also make 2 others changes. The first is to toughen penalties for false alarms. At present there are no penalties for the first 3 in a 6 month period. Under the proposed ordinance there would be no grace period. A license fee for each alarm would fund an administrator to make sure those fines are collected. Most of the problems with false alarms are with businesses.
The Police Department is planning a pair of community workshops before bringing the idea to the council. They are scheduled for next Monday and Wednesday at 5:30 at the Sparks Police Department. Alarm companies and their customers are urged to attend.