Police Reminder: Alarm Rules Require Annual Reregistration
The police department's records unit has on file almost 4,000 locations where alarms - largely burglar alarms - are in place to warn property owners of illegal intrusions. Of that number, 3,407 locations are residences, and 541 are businesses.
In seeking to best manage that number of alarms, the town now requires that beyond an initial alarm registration, alarm holders also annually reregister their alarms with police. Such annual updating of alarm information keeps current police information on the status of alarm systems and also provides current information on whom police should contact after an alarm is activated, according to Lieutenant David Kullgren, who oversees the police department's administrative services.
The police department's annual alarm renewal requirement came due on July 1. The renewal fee is $5. Original alarm registrations cost $25.
In calendar year 2016, town police responded to more than 1,300 alarms. The vast majority of those calls were false alarms. Typically, police dispatch two officers to respond to an alarm. Police-response alarms include burglar alarms, holdup alarms, and panic/duress alarms.
Lt Kullgren noted that a revised town burglar alarm ordinance took effect on July 1. The revised law seeks to have alarm systems users maintain their systems, understand how their alarms work, and provide police with updated alarm system contact information.
To simplify compliance with the revised alarm system ordinance, the town created online registration/renewal application forms. That system allows online payments.
Alarm users also may submit the information at the police department's records unit at the police station at 3 Main Street.
For violations of the alarm system ordinance's rules, fines are levied. A false alarm from an unregistered alarm system results in a $99 fine.
There is no fine for the first false alarm from a registered alarm system. However, successive false alarm fines progressively increase, with a second false alarm resulting in a $25 fine, and the third and fourth false alarms causing $50 fines each. The fifth, sixth, and seventh false alarms create $100 fines each. The eighth and ninth false alarms translate into $200 fines each. The tenth false alarm and all successive alarms result in $250 fines each. The fine schedule pertains to the false alarms that occur within a one-year period.
When police respond to an initial false alarm at an address, they typically leave a warning card there, which explains that future false alarms will be subject to fines.
People with questions about the alarm registration process may contact the police records unit by telephone at 203-270-4274, or by e-mail at email@example.com.