APD Media Release 07/25/12
Police to Begin Enforcing False Alarm Ordinance
Starting September 1st
Annapolis Police will begin enforcement of City ordinance 10.06.020 for false alarms. This ordinance became effective September 1, 2009.
Starting next week the police department will be sending letters to businesses and residences that reported several false alarms in 2012. There will be no fines or punishments attached to these letters. The letters will be sent to inform the alarm user of the false alarm ordinance and penalties.
The false alarm ordinance defines a false alarm as any communication generated by or as a result of an alarm system or telecommunication that results in a response and investigation by the City’s Fire/EMS or Police Departments which reveals no evidence or indication of a health or safety risk or other actual hazard. False alarms shall not include signals found to be activated by unusually severe weather conditions or other causes that are identified by the Fire/EMS or Police Department to be beyond the control of the user. There is no fine for the first and second false alarms. A civil fine of $100 will be assessed for the third and fourth false alarms that occur within a 365-day period. A $200 fine will be assessed for the fifth and all subsequent alarms within a 365-day period.
The police department is also launching an online voluntary alarm registration form at www.annapolis.gov/police. Alarm users can fill out the form online and submit it or stop by the Annapolis Police Department at 199 Taylor Avenue and fill out the form. This voluntary registration will aid police in contacting residential and non-residential alarm users when emergencies occur with no one present. The registration will also enable alarm users to be quickly notified when a false alarm occurs. Alarm registration is free.
By enforcing the false alarm ordinance the police department hopes to encourage alarm users to keep their alarm systems in good working order. This will cut down on the number of false alarms officers respond to throughout the year. Between October 2010 and October 2011 alarm companies reported 1,954 alarm activations to the police department. It was found that 99.8% of these activations were false alarms.