Cobb County has a nationally accredited police department, which demonstrates its commitment in providing outstanding law enforcement services to our community. But the ongoing problem of false burglar alarms is hampering police officers by wasting time and money.
This led to the development of Cobb County’s new alarm ordinance, which goes into effect Jan. 1. There will be tiered fines for unregistered burglar alarms and excessive false alarms.
Last year, the most common call for service was to alarms and there were almost double as many calls as for the number two call for service, traffic accidents.
Of the about 43,000 alarm calls, almost 99 percent were false. “We want our highly-trained officers to be able to spend their time patrolling and preventing crime instead of spending 10-20 percent of their days checking erroneous burglar alarm calls,” Mickey Lloyd, Public Safety Director, said.
An officer spends an average of 20 minutes on a burglar alarm call, so false alarms wasted approximately 15,840 man hours in 2007. That’s an estimated $368,000 of taxpayer money that could have been used to better serve and protect residents.
“The goal of the ordinance is to reduce wasted man hours spent responding to false alarms,” Lloyd said. “We hope to cut the number of false alarms by 50 percent over the next five years.”
All residents in unincorporated Cobb who have burglar alarms in their homes or businesses are required to register the system with the county.
Registering alarms has many benefits to home and business owners. It provides police with contact information in case of a suspected break-in. Police usually contact owners to see how they want the property secured.
Registration begins Oct. 1 and all alarms must be registered by Dec. 31.
Motor vehicle or boat alarms, fire alarms and alarms designed to elicit a medical response do not have to be registered.
For more information, please contact:
False Alarm Reduction Unit