MPD explains fines for false alarms

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
March 24, 2002
Chief Benny DuBose says the Meridian Police Department is keeping track of how many false burglar alarm calls are caused by malfunctioning security systems.
A 1999 city ordinance gives owners of malfunctioning systems a grace period of six false alarms in a permit year, but authorizes $100 fines each time police respond unnecessarily after that point.
Capt. Theresa Cutwright of the MPD monitors the alarms calls for the city. She said the department received more than 600 false alarms in a five-week period last year.
Cutwright sends letters each month to owners whose alarm systems sent out a call resulting in a false alarm.
The biggest question residents have about the ordinance, Cutwright said, is the difference between the permit year and the calendar year.
The number of false alarms calls has dropped from 410 in December 2001, to 351 in February. Cutwright said the decrease is a result of the monitoring process.
DuBose said he wants residents to understand that the department didn't start enforcing the three-year-old city ordinance to make money for the city.

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