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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97883 Find in a Library
Title: False Alarms - Do We Cope or Control? (From Police Management Today, P 113-117, 1985, James J Fyfe, ed. - See NCJ-97876)
Author(s): R E Lovell
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Danbury Police Department's (Connecticut) response to false alarms -- conducting a survey of alarm abuse and then drafting a new city ordinance to control false alarms -- is described.
Abstract: The first step in studying the problem of false alarms is to measure the impact of alarms, false and real, on total police services. During 1979, the Danbury Police responded to 34,031 police service calls, of which 12 percent were burglar or holdup alarms. The estimated costs of responding to these alarms was $29,865 in officers' salaries alone. Analysis of a random sample of 1,796 alarms, 45 percent of the total alarm response, showed that burglaries/holdups accounted for 1.01 percent, malfunctions for 19.7 percent, errors for 46.8 percent, and undetermined reasons for 35.4 percent. This was more than enough evidence to support a request for a new city ordinance. The police department decided to draft the law itself, working with samples from other jurisdictions. The proposed law began with a detailed description of all terms used in the ordinance, including what constituted an error, a malfunction, or intentional misuse. The law gave the police chief the right to inspect any alarm and reject those that appeared poorly constructed or conceived. It required that police department have the names of at least two persons who could reset the alarm and secure the building in case of burglary or false alarm. A system of fines for violating the various provisions was established that included a heavier fine for intentional activation of an alarm. Fines were payable in 30 days or the alarm was removed from the notification panel at police headquarters. Alarm companies supported the legislation and, after some modifications, it was passed in March 1981.
Index Term(s): False alarms; Municipal ordinances; Police management; Police policies and procedures; Police research
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Reproduced from The Police Chief, (February 1982).
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