Not Everyone Supporting False Alarm Ordinance


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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- A false alarm going off, could soon cost you.

A new ordinance in the City of Harrisonburg puts a price on those alarms that go off for no real reason; however, some people are questioning just how false some alarms have been.

Connie McKelvey, the office manager at Kenco, was alone at work one night, "Someone was jiggling the door to the garage and I looked out my window and all I could see was a car that was parallel to the building, but in front of our vehicles," said McKelvey.

The alarm sounded, but when police came they ruled it false.

"Told me that they couldn't find anything, and that I just must have been hearing things. But I wasn't seeing things, I did see those people out there," said McKelvey.

And with a different attempt to break-in, police didn't see everything at first check.

"You could tell where they were jimmying the lock and had messed the door frame up," said McKelvey.

A false alarm is defined as anything that causes response when there is no actual or threatened criminal activity, which includes cases where no cause is determined.

Of 1587 alarms last year, 99 percent were considered false.

Ralph Weller, with Hawk Security said the alarms scare off criminals, "It's a lot more cost effective to prevent a crime then to investigate and then prosecute."

But Weller, who wrote a letter to the city manager with concerns, also doesn't want police to waste their time.

"Crime also is increasing, so there are going to be more systems. And our biggest crime is human error," continued Weller.

He said the new ordinance will help police be more efficient when responding to so many calls.

A separate company will monitor false alarms.

People will be required to register to get alarms.

Beginning September 1, under the new ordinance if you have repeated false alarms, it could cost you up to $500.


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