The City Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday night to an ordinance increasing penalties charged when police respond three or more times in a year to accidentally triggered alarms.
Previously, when an alarm was unintentionally activated, owners of the building equipped with the alarm system suffered no penalty for the police's initial response. But false alarms cost owners $15 for a second response, $30 for a third and $45 for any additional responses at the same location.
The new ordinance allows two penalty-free police responses to false alarms, but increases the penalties to $50 for a third visit and to $75 for any additional visits.
In response to Councilman David Finkel's concern that the new ordinance would force subscribers to a faulty alarm system to shoulder the burden of an incompetent company, City Atty. Robert Myers said that most false alarms are the result of an oversight by the subscriber to the system and are not the fault of the alarm service.
The ordinance will come up for a second and final vote at the council's April 26 meeting.