Atlanta modifying security alarm ordinance - KMSP-TV

Atlanta modifying security alarm ordinance

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ATLANTA -

The city of Atlanta is making some changes to its security alarm ordinance. They're lowering the fines, but requiring everyone to register their system with a database.

Last year, Atlanta police officers answered 65,000 alarm calls, but officials say about 95 percent of those were false alarms.

"We want officers chasing robbers, burglars, thieves. We don't want them responding to an alarm call because your dog set off your motion detector," said Atlanta Police spokesman Carlos Campos.

Campos says that beginning in September, Atlanta will require that alarm systems be registered so the department can keep track of repeat offenders.

"And we know where these alarms are. We know who the repeat offenders are. Then those individuals or those companies can work more closely with their alarm companies to rectify whatever the problem is," Campos said.

The city is so convinced that registering alarms will work, they're lowering the fines for false alarms.

If you register, you'll get a warning the first time, a $50 fee the second time, a $100 fee the third time, the fourth through sixth offenses will cost $200, while seven or more false alarms will cost $500.

"These ordinances are good for everybody. They're good for the jurisdiction. They're good for the company and they're good for the homeowner," said Eric Widner, the operations manager at LOUD Security Systems.

Widner says registration ordinances already exist in Cobb County, Marietta and Sandy Springs, and the data shows they're working because the customer becomes more aware.

"Thirty-one percent, I believe, was Marietta's false alarm reduction," said Widner.

Atlanta's new false alarm ordinance takes effect on September 15.

After February 1, 2014, they will face a $150 fine for not registering their alarm system with the city.

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