NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — During the last year, New London police have responded to 4,000 burglar alarms and more than 99 percent of them have been false. So they want to change that.
The false alarms take up valuable resources keeping police away from their other duties.
“It costs a lot of money,” said Chief Reichard of New London. “Each alarm…takes about two officers per alarm call, about a half an hour for each alarm call, so it adds up to in the course of two years more than the salary of one full-time police officer.”
In order to reduce the number of false alarms, a new ordinance has gone into effect Sunday. It requires anyone with an alarm system (including homes, businesses, and schools) to register with the city.
It doesn’t cost any money to register the alarm or renew it each year, but the town says you will be fined if you don’t register. Also, if someone has more than three false alarms, the fined will begin at $25.
“And if you continue after a certain number it goes to $250 per activation,” said Chief Reichard.
Police say with some repeat offenders it was almost like clockwork. Every day at the same time they’d see an alarm call come in.
Police are hoping this new law educates residents and businesses, as well as, schools so they educate employees who either don’t know the alarm deactivation code or how to work the system.
“We don’t want to take up their time if we don’t have to you know,” said Flavia Arena who runs the front desk at New London Ink.
She says they had a few false alarms at their old location.
“We also had different artists coming in an out that we were hiring and so they would come in and put the wrong code in or whatever but it was all honest mistakes,” said Arena.
Police responding to false alarms will now leave red warning cards explaining the new law and the possible fines which will start January 1, 2020.