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New city ordinance will charge alarm system owners for false alarms

Updated: Apr. 27, 2021 at 9:49 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A new ordinance in Cape Girardeau will require alarm owners to register with the city and pay fees for false alarms.

Cape Girardeau Police said emergency officials responded to more than 23 hundred alarms last year and more than 95 percent of those calls were false alarms.

They’re hoping this new system will reduce that number.

“As long as your alarm is functioning properly, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence,” said Sgt. Joey Hann.

He said they have adopted a new ordinance that compels anyone who has an alarm system in the City of Cape to get a permit and follow protocols for false alarms.

This new way will come at a cost

“25 dollars are for a residential or a commercial alarm for one year. This is specifically going to be a burglar alarm or a fire alarm or something of that nature,” Hann said.

Hann explained the call for this ordinance and the protocol is because of the unusually high number of responses of false alarms, particularly from businesses.

Owners could be charged up to $300 for false alarms.

“We’ve had some businesses who have had 40 to 50 per year and that taxing on my man power and our resources and it costs the tax payers as well,” Hann said.

They way this works is whenever a residential or commercial alarm goes off, it will trigger a dispatch response.

The officer going to that residence will have to register the alarm with the city no later than July 1.

If anybody is a new alarm holder, they have 10 days from the time they install that alarm to get that registered with the city.

“It’s going to make the resident or the commercial business owner accountable and make them change the sensitivity or setting or whatever they need to do to make sure it is legitimate,” Hann said.

Emilie Buelow owns Annie-Em’s at Home in Cape Girardeau.

She believes the ordinance will benefit the city and businesses.

However, it may make others think twice before installing an alarm.

“That would be kind of something you want to take into consideration before you are paying so much for the alarm system plus maybe paying additional fees for false alarms,” Buelow said.

“It’s really just making the business owner or the resident accountable and making sure they have their alarm functioning properly and they don’t drain resources,” Hann said.

Vehicle alarms and Life Alert systems are not impacted by the new ordinance.

You can find more details about the ordinance here.

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