Peachtree City, Ga. ponders false alarm ordinance

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. --

Peachtree City police are asking the city council to approve an ordinance that would fine homeowners, businesses and city-owned property for false alarms.

Under the proposal, two false alarms would be allowed per year. After that, fines would range from $50 to $500 depending on the number of false alarms.

According to statistics from the police department, in 2010, officers responded to 2,707 total alarms. Only one alarm was for an actual crime. In 2009, the department responded to 2,750 total calls. Only three were alarms that indicated a crime had occurred.

"The biggest concern is the officer safety aspect," said Capt. Rosanna Dove with Peachtree City police. "If you go out to 2700 false alarms and the last one is the actual alarm, you have somebody in there with weapons, it is a sense of complacency we don't want the officers to get into."

The list included city buildings, businesses and homes. The top offenders in Peachtree City for 2009 are:

  • Home Depot, 30
  • McIntosh High School, 27
  • El Ranchero Mexican restaurant at Crosstown Drive, 26
  • Southern Motor Carriers, 22
  • Booth Middle School, 17

The highest offender for Peachtree City government was the recreation centers' main office with 13.

CBS Atlanta News spoke to Dianne Case, a homeowner who had 11 false alarms.

"How can you explain 11 false alarms?" asked reporter Mike Paluska.

"We had system error with our alarm company and our actual unit," Case said. "Also, we have three children and two dogs and a lot of times in the morning the dogs will bark and you forget the security system is on to let them out," she said.

Case said if the ordinance passes, she supports it.

"If they want to impose a fine for this, I am OK with that," Case said. "We need police on the street to do their jobs and be safe."

Dove said the goal isn't to collect money, but to keep officers on the streets chasing down crime not false alarms. Dove said other cities that have enacted false alarm ordinances have seen a 40 to 60 percent reduction in false alarms.

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