Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson wants to hold home and business owners responsible for false burglar alarms that he says are wasting thousands of hours of police officers’ time, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Abramson has proposed an ordinance similar to one that failed earlier. It would implement graduated fines for multiple false alarms and require security alarm companies to be licensed. Companies also would be required to make two attempts to reach a home or business owner to determine whether an alarm was sounding in error before police were dispatched.
On the first false alarm to which officers were dispatched, the home or business owner would get a warning. For every subsequent false alarm in a one-year period, the owner would be fined between $50 and $300.
Police say reported that 99 percent of alarm calls turn out to be false because of factors such as user error, a rowdy dog, or a faulty backup battery. In 2002, city and county police responded to 43,369 burglary alarm calls. Of those, 42,960 were false. False alarms in 2002 wasted 19,000 hours of officers’ time and cost about $500,000, Abramson said.