Brookhaven to go after security companies for false alarms - CBS46 News

Brookhaven to go after security companies for false alarms

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
BROOKHAVEN, GA (CBS46) -

The city of Brookhaven is trying something new to help reduce the number of false security alarms. Instead of levying fines against the homeowner or business owner, the city will fine the security companies.

The ordinance, which takes effect January 1, is similar to one passed in Sandy Springs earlier this year.

“We estimate that we spent $200,000 of police department resources chasing false alarms,” said Burke Brennan, a Brookhaven city spokesman.

Last month alone, Brookhaven police officers responded to more residential alarms than any other type of calls. Fourth on the list was commercial alarms.

Ninety-eight percent of alarm activations reported by security companies end up being false alarms, according to city research.

“When we studied other municipalities, we’ve learned that fining homeowners doesn’t really bring down the number of false alarms,” Brennan said. “However, fining alarm companies can cut it upwards of 50 percent.”

The idea is that when alarm companies are forced to pay fines, it forces them to improve communication with their clients rather than simply relying on the readiness of local police agencies.

“I’ve been guilty myself of having false alarms,” said long-time Brookhaven resident Margaret Panther.

She predicts the new ordinance will help.

“I think it’s great because anything that’ll help free up the policemen for true crimes will be a benefit to the whole community,” she said.

Security companies will get two free passes for each address. After that, the city of Brookhaven will fine them $25 for the third false alarm, $125 for the fourth and fifth false alarm, and $250 for the sixth and successive false alarms.

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