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VALLEY

False Alarm Law Will Pack a Punch

January 23, 1998|JOHN CANALIS

There's new teeth in the city's law governing false alarms.

Failing to pay fees for repeated false alarms from home security systems will soon become a criminal offense.

Police charge residents $50 after their third false alarm; about $39,600 was billed in 1997. But about 24% of that amount, or $9,420, remains due. There is $570 and $340 outstanding from 1996 and 1995, respectively.

"City staff has diligently tried to collect these overdue assessments," a municipal report states. "However, nothing can be done to those who choose to ignore our billing notices because there currently is no penalty provision in the ordinance for nonpayment."

Under the new law, someone who fails to pay could be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $1,000 or six months in jail if convicted.

Administrators said they expect compliance to improve swiftly under the new regulations.

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