In 2012, Redding Police responded to 533 false alarms at homes.
Since two officers have to respond to those kinds of calls—and each call takes 40 man-minutes—that’s 21,320 minutes, or 355 hours, that officers are responding to erroneous calls.
“It’s obviously a huge amount of time,” Police Chief Douglas Fuchs said, adding some calls take more than 40 man-minutes if they’re on the edges of town.
Officers’ time could clearly be better spent. So that’s why police are reminding residents to make sure their alarms are functioning properly.
“We have continued to do a fairly robust PR campaign to encourage folks to make sure their alarm systems are properly clean and monitored,” and to make sure they’re fully functional, Fuchs said.
In 2011, officers answered 667 false alarms. Fuchs said it’s important to remember Irene and Alfred, but he feels as though the PR campaign is helping curb those kinds of calls.
In addition to officers spending time which would be invested better elsewhere, homeowners could also suffer in their wallets. There’s an ordinance on the books in town regarding false alarm calls that fines those who aren’t in accordance with it.
Homeowners are given verbal warnings for the first two violations and a written warning for the third.
After that, the fines are as follows:
- Four false alarms: $50
- Five false alarms: $75
- Six false alarms: $100
- Seven or more false alarms: $150