In an effort to curb the high number of false alarms to the Sheriff's Department, the City Council has approved an ordinance authorizing a $50 service charge for every false alarm above three during a 12-month period.
Fred Latham, assistant city manager, said the false alarms in the city--an average of 140 a month--are a drain on law enforcement resources. He estimated it costs about $40 for two sheriff's deputies to respond to and deactivate a false alarm. Most false alarms are at commercial businesses.
The urgency ordinance was approved Dec. 12 and takes effect Jan. 1.