Lakewood considering fining residents & businesses for too many false burglar alarms

Posted at 4:13 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 17:44:55-04

Burglar alarms are meant to alert police and prevent crime.


Lakewood city leaders are considering a nuisance ordinance to fine residents and businesses for too many false alarms.


Alarms that tie up police who must check windows and doors.


Lakewood looked over the numbers from 2014.


This is what they found. 


There were 1,654 alarms, only 47 were valid calls.


That means 97 percent of alarms were false.


Hundreds of hours of police time spent responding to those false alarms.


“So this begins the process of how we can eliminate those false alarms and the waste of police time and redirect it toward things that are more productive in terms of public safety,” said Mayor Mike Summers


After a second false alarm, a warning letter would be sent.


After a third one, the resident or business owner would be fined $200.


The fine could be appealed to the mayor and then a citizens’ review board.


“The goal would be to have the operator of the alarm fix the problem, generally it’s operator error, training issues of new employees, or carelessness, sometimes it’s equipment malfunction,” Summers said.


A jewelry store owner, who didn’t want to be identified said a $200 fine is too high and the fine should come after five false alarms.


Lakewood City Council will vote on this issue in December.