In fact, the PV Police Department has responded to approximately 1,200 calls for burglary and robbery alarms from homes and businesses each year over the past decade, according to a report from Interim Police Chief James Edelstein. Fewer than 1 percent of the calls involved criminal activity, and the remainder were false alarms.
Edelstein's study placed the cost of two officers responding to a false alarm at $85. Doing the math, response to false alarms cost the town approximately $969,000 in that decade.
The town code currently provides a criminal penalty of $8 after more than two false alarms occur at a given location in the same month. The fine increases to a maximum of $24 if the incidents occur often enough in the same month.
Edelstein has recommended three solutions that he prepared in his report to the Town Council, which will discuss the issue at a work/study meeting Thursday. His staff prefers a recommendation to revise the town code, create a civil fine and registration process for those who have false alarms, require the monitoring station to make two phone calls before contacting the police department, and enforcing the new code through a third-party vendor.
The false alarms issue will be the final item for discussion Thursday at the study session, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the library auditorium, 7401 E. Civic Circle.