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Louisiana city deploys false alarm ordinance

Since a large portion of calls that the police department in Alexandria, Louisiana, respond to turn out to be false, the city is beginning to enforce an ordinance that has been talked about for some time. The new law will require business and residential buildings with alarm systems to register them with the city, according to a report by the Town Talk.

“We respond to about 6,000 to 7,000 false alarms a year,” Alexandria Police chief Loren Lampert said, according to the news source. “We get about 60,000 call-outs a year. So that means 10 percent of them are false alarms.”

With each response costing the agency roughly $50, taxpayers are paying more than $300,000 each year on average for the police department to respond to false alarms, the Town Talk said. The law imposes a fine on those who experience three or more false alarms each year. If the business or homeowner calls the police agency and reports the incident is false, however, it does not count as a strike.

Since the ordinance was deployed several months ago, the city has been seeing some encouraging results, as Lambert noted there was roughly a 31 percent reduction in incidents in June 2012 compared to June 2011. This trend also equaled about $8,000 in savings, the Town Talk reported.

According to a separate report by the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, most false alarms in 2011 were caused by failing to disarm security systems correctly.

By registering alarms and calling in unintentional incidents, Alexandria law enforcement and emergency response officials will be able to save money and operate more efficiently by only responding to real situations.

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