COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Columbus Fire and EMS says they’re hoping to create a new way to handle the thousands of false alarm calls that puts their departments at a disadvantage.
“In 2018, we responded to over 22,000 false burglar alarms. It’s a problem,” says Gil Slouchick with the Columbus Police Department.
The police department is proposing a company to handle the false alarms for the city. The company would come in and you would register the alarm with that company. They say if you have a burglar alarm registered with the city, you wouldn’t have to pay for registration. Police say it’s needed due to the large percentage of false alarms.
“You could do the math with the man-hours that we put into this. Probably 96 percent of the alarms we respond to are false alarms,” says Slouchick.
The proposal says the first time you have a false alarm would be free. The second time would be a $50 fee that could be waived by attending an alarmed awareness class. The third alarm would be $100. Ten false alarms would be $400.
“My only concern is how it would affect the alarm companies and the services they provide. I think it makes it a little easier for them. They can still be a part of it. We’re still doing the same thing. Everything is the same, but now it’s in the hands of the citizens to register and make sure they register every year,” says Councilman Glenn Davis.
Failure to register an alarm with the city would be $100. This is the first reading and will be brought back to the council next week for a vote.