City council unanimously approves new false alarm ordinance

City council unanimously approves new false alarm ordinance

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans city council voted unanimously to impose fees as high as $400 for people with faulty security alarms.

The council also approved an ordinance that could see repeat offenders lose the right to have police respond to future alarm calls. The ordinance was approved on a 7-0 vote.

Councilmembers said the city does not have enough cops to continue responding to false alarms. City officials say there were nearly 50 thousand false alarms last year.

The new ordinance is not without controversy. The push to decrease false alarms in New Orleans is getting push-back.

"The new ordinance I think basically is just for them to make money," Marigny resident Charles Murphy said.

He is opposed to amending an ordinance aimed at decreasing the number of false security alarms.

"They have an ordinance that is currently on the books from 1997 and it hasn't been enforced since Katrina," he said.

NOPD Chief Michael Harrison said responding to false alarms is tying up his officers.

"Eleven percent of their time is spent responding to alarms and above 98 percent of those alarms are false. So we could do so many more things with that free time," he said.

The ordinance gives offenders a warning for up to three false alarms, a fine of $25 for the fourth and fifth times, and on the tenth time officers would no longer respond to the home.

The chief wants to hit offenders with a $75 fine the second time, a $150 fine for the third time, and the fourth time would carry a $225 fine - and officers would then stop responding.

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