Fines for false alarms to see increase in Fairfield
FAIRFIELD — In an effort to decrease the amount of false alarms police respond to — which the department estimated costs taxpayers more than $80,000 yearly — new fines are set to go into effect July 1.
Town police said the number of false alarms officers respond to costs taxpayers about $84,892 each year. That number, police said, factors in fuel costs, the officer’s time, administrative costs associated with managing the alarms and other associated costs.
On average, the department responds to 3,161 alarm calls per year, with 97 percent of those being false alarms. The department has not updated its false alarm fines since 1994.
Effective July 1, there will be no fine for the first and second false alarm calls.
But by the third one, there will be a $50 fine; a $75 fine for the fourth; a $100 by the fifth; a $125 fine for the sixth and seventh; and then $150 for the eighth and all additional alarms that come after the initial eight false ones.
There will be a $125 fee added to the overall fine for any person or business that fails to pay the fines within 30 days.
Police said the department is hopeful the increase in false alarm fines will reduce the number officers respond to and allow them to spend more time dealing with other law enforcement and public safety issues around town.
False alarms will add up for one calendar year from the date of the first false alarm, police said. They will not longer reset on July 1 each year.
Police said a false alarm is any activation of an alarm system to which police respond and find that it was not caused by a criminal act or other emergency. The department said this does not include alarm activation caused by extreme weather conditions or a prolonged power outage of four hours or more.
Residents and business owners will be required to register their alarms with the police department starting in January 2020. Information on registration will be made available later in the year after the system is finalized, police said.