FEES PLACED ON 911 HANG-UPS AND FALSE ALARMS
CRESCENT CITY, CA- 911 hang-ups and false alarms could now cost you some out of pocket cash if you live in Crescent City. The City Council passed Ordinance 771 to cover the cost it takes for officers and fire fighters to respond to false calls and alarms.
City officials say they intent of the fees are not to punish residents, but to educate them. Mayor Richard Enea added, "we know that people will call 911, hang-up. The officers go and there is a problem at the house. That is not a false alarm.”
Mayor Enea added the big problem is false burglary alarms going off at the local businesses, "we had 130 of them for the year, that's over 10 a month... Sometimes the business owner won't come down, and that's really a problem."
But the business will not get charged without warning. They get 2 false alarms and on the third they will be charged a $75 fee, and up to $200 if it continues.
Chief Plack of Crescent City Police added, "It is an issue up here. A lot of the businesses do have a high influx of false alarms to their businesses."
Chief Plack is personally going around to each local business to let them know about the new fee. He added, "It's very important for the citizens to know that we want to give them the service that they need to have and that they deserve. Then again it does come at a cost. And this is our way to diminish those resources that cost us to respond to false calls.”
And the other cost is less law enforcement on the street patrolling. Mayor Enea added, "we generally have 2 officers on patrol with a supervisor. One call could take them all."
In order to prevent the fee businesses just have to call their alarm company to make sure it’s not a faulty wire tripping the alarm. Chief Plack said, "They have to take responsibility for the condition of their alarm... It's important they take this very seriously just like we do in law enforcement. In order to protect and serve the individuals of the calls they are asking us to respond to."
The officers on duty will be the ones to judge if the call or alarm is false. Any person billed can appeal the fee to the City Manager.