Residents and business owners are notified of their false alarm charges by mail, which Wilson says is not an efficient strategy to address the problem.
In 2021, Roswell police received 4,200 alarm calls, most of which were false alarms, the officials said. Last October, Roswell’s fire department answered 82 fire alarm calls, and about 70 were false alarms.
Pennino estimates 15 hours of firefighters’ time in October was spent on false alarms.
In the proposal, the main part of the false alarm fee schedule would remain in place — $50 for the second false alarm to $300 for the eighth. That latter charge would suspend responses to emergency calls.
Wilson said increasing fees would only address a small piece of a major problem. Other cities such as Sandy Springs are managing false alarms by requiring residents’ alarm companies to verify the validity of the alarm before responding, he said.
“People don’t realize that when the police or fire respond to a false alarm, that’s a big deal,” Wilson added. “(It’s) a huge waste of resources.”