Similarly, Hugh Mercer Elementary School was fined $300 for its 10 false alarms, as opposed to the $1,350 they would be fined under the updated code. And James Monroe High School's 14 false alarms last year would warrant a $3,350 fine now.
Last year, however, James Monroe High School was fined for only seven of the 14 alarms because they reported to the police that they were working on fixing a problem with the alarm system. The department waived the fees incurred after the report, a courtesy it would extend to any alarm user with extenuating circumstances, according to Fredericksburg Police Capt. Brian Layton.
The false alarms at both James Monroe High School and Hugh Mercer Elementary School were a result of the systems malfunctioning, and they have since been corrected, according to Bob Burch, Fredericksburg public schools director of operations.
Though the new fines may result in increased revenue for the city, officials say the ultimate goal is to encourage property owners to maintain and upgrade their alarms so officers can focus on true emergencies.
Bridget Balch: 540/374-5417
FALSE ALARM FINES
No penalties are associated with the first two false burglary alarms in a calendar year. After that, here's the new fine schedule:
Third, fourth and fifth: $50 each
Sixth and seventh: $100 each
Eighth and ninth: $250 each