Roswell approves escalating fines for false alarms

Repeated false alarms in Roswell will now incur a cost. The city will charge alarm system owners escalating fines for repeated false alarms. Residents and business owners with alarm systems will also be charged a $25 annual fee, a portion of which the city will use to pay the company that manages false alarm calls.

City Council approved the ordinance during a Monday meeting.

Fees will range from $50 for the second false alarm to $300 for the eighth, which would suspend responses to emergency calls. Reinstatement would be an additional $50.

Director of Emergency Communications Melissa Alterio said 97% of the 7,700 emergency alarm calls received in 2019 were false alarms. Nearly the same percentage of calls to the fire department were false alarms too.

During a March public safety meeting with council members, Alterio said calls were either canceled after being placed or no emergency incidents were found when first responders arrived.

Monday, Mayor Lori Henry said that she’s learned from public safety meetings that police officers become relaxed after numerous false alarms.

“That could be very dangerous for them,” Henry said. “I would like our police officers to be in a better position … that they know to take it seriously and that this isn’t another false alarm.”