Local Police Look For Ways To Cut Down On False Alarms

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HARRISONBURG, Va. Tuesday night at the Harrisonburg City Council meeting, the police department will talk about an ordinance to cut down on the number of false alarms going off in the city.

Police said, when an alarm goes off in local businesses and homes, more than 90 percent of them are false alarms. They said, this is dangerous because it takes officers off the street and uses resources needed for a real emergency.

Part of the ordinance would create a fine system. Within a permit year, there would be a $50 dollar fine for the third, fourth and fifth false alarm. The fine would increase to $100 dollars for the sixth and seventh false alarm. A $250 dollar fine for the eighth and ninth false alarm. And, a $500 dollar fine for ten or more false alarms.

Harrisonburg police said the goal is not to collect money, but rather to educate the public on the dangers of false alarms.

Sallie Darling, a local business owner, said she has had several false alarms go off, and hopes this will have a positive impact.

"It makes me feel safer knowing they are out there watching. And, it would make me feel even safer if I knew they were being called to where they were actually needed and not because someone was setting off an alarm for the fun of it," said Darling.

The Harrisonburg Police Department first brought up the issue to the city council last October. The goal is to have everything finalized by the end of the year.

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