NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Police Department proposed a plan to reduce false alarms by fining repeat offenders.
The proposal was announced during a press conference on Wednesday morning. Police hope that by reducing false alarms, officers will be able to focus on actual crimes and increase police presence on the streets.
According to the ordinance, burglar alarms make up 11 percent of the NOPD's total calls for service volume. Of these alarms, police say 98.8 percent are false alarms.
Overall, the NOPD responded to 48,000 false alarms in 2014. Nearly 5,300 addresses are responsible for three or more false alarms in a year – these compose 73 percent of all false alarms in the city.
Under the proposed ordinance, users will receive a warning for their first false alarm during the calendar year. For the second false alarm, users will be fined $75. For the third, users will be fined $150 and officers will cease responding to alarm system activations.
Alarm users will be able to appeal first alarm fines and notices of non-response.
Police also say that alarm monitoring companies will be required to make at least two calls to an alarm system user to verify an alarm before requesting police dispatch.
The ordinance will not impact police response to actively triggered alarms such as panic alarms and holdup alarms, police say.
Officers hope that the proposed ordinance will reduce wasted time, eliminating a significant demand on emergency resources. Officials say the reduction will save an equivalent of six full-time officers.