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Heartland community pushes back against false alarm ordinance

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 10:09 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Starting July 1, alarm systems will a cost an extra $25 for Cape City residents. The city is getting some pushback for it.

The City of Cape Girardeau recently passed a new ordinance that will charge alarm system owners in city limits for a permit. It is an effort to limit false illegitimate alarms, what was confirmed to be over 95% of calls

“We think it’s a fair way, that the people who have alarms will be the ones that will pay for this type of service,” Scott Meyer said.

Meyer, Cape Girardeau City Manager, said some the of payments will go to the alarm system company, Cry Wolf False Alarm Solutions, for what he called administrative work.

“They have the costs we have if we were to implement it. So, they have to send out the flyers, they have to follow up and issue the permits, they have to take the data from the false alarm,” Meyer said.

Meyer explained the rest of the payments will be returned back to the city.

Others said, on top of the cost of paying for a system, the extra fee is just unnecessary. “Accent security customers alone pay $8,000 to $10,000 per year and now they want a $25 fee,” Steve Zchille, owner of Accent Security Alarms in Jackson.

He said he’s not fully against the ordinance, but he believes some changes are necessary.

“Security supports a false alarm ordinance, but needs to be modified. I don’t believe it needs to be every year,” Zchille said.

He said some of his cliental are considering more serious ways to avoid paying the extra fee.

“Some of my customers said they’ll just cancel,” Zchille stated.

Meyers said he understands the frustrations towards the ordinance, but says it’s the most effective way to cut down on wasting city resources.

“It’s a way of having people who it serves by that actually pay for it,” Meyer said.

Meyers said it will be the private firm’s responsibility to register alarm system owners.

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