CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (WSIL) -- One city's first responders are sick and tired of responding to false alarms. To help reduce the number of false calls, the City of Cape Girardeau implemented a new alarm ordinance.
The new plan is designed to cut down on false alarms and charge property owners for unnecessary emergency responses.
In the last year alone, Cape Girardeau police and fire personnel have responded to over 2,300 alarms within the city limits and over 95% of these calls were confirmed to be false alarms. The majority of these false alarms are the result of user error, installation error and/or equipment error. Some alarm holders have allowed for over forty false alarm occurrences at their site within a single year.
"The biggest cause of us implementing this plan is just the burden on the officers between police departments and fire departments with the number of false alarms they respond to on a daily basis," said Cape Girardeau Police Sgt. Joey Hann.
Hann said not only is it a burden to the city, but also costly to taxpayers. The department hopes this will hold business owners more accountable.
"Before this, there was no consequence for false alarms. In fact, we had some businesses that exceeded forty false alarms in one year, and because of that, there was no accountability for an alarm holder to repair their alarm. So this is basically going to try and enforce that for alarm holders," said Hann.
Alarm owners must have their systems registered by July 1st.
Users can register two ways:
Alarm System Permit Fee: $25.00 (Alarm systems must be registered within 5 days of installation. A $ 25.00 late fee may be assessed if an alarm is not registered within 30 days.)
Alarm System Annual Renewal Fee: $25.00
False Alarm Fees:
- 1st Alarm No Charge
- 2nd Alarm $50.00
- 3rd Alarm $75.00
- 4th Alarm $100.00
- 5th Alarm $150.00
- 6th Alarm $200.00
- 7th Alarm $250.00
- 8th Alarm $300.00
- Each Additional False Alarm $300.00
(There is a structured appeals process available to alarm holders who are fined.)
This fee schedule will go into effect on July 1st, 2021 but alarm holders are encouraged to apply for their alarm permit immediately.