Residents and business owners in unincorporated Cobb are reminded their burglar alarms must be registered with Cobb County. The false alarm ordinance was enacted in 2008 and is designed to stop the ongoing problem of false burglar alarms.
Of about 43,000 alarm calls in 2007, almost 99 percent were false, according to the The ongoing problem of false burglar alarms is hampering police officers and wasting time and money, the department says.
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.
“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,” said Mickey Lloyd, Cobb's Public Safety Director.
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 police department said.
“The goal of the ordinance is to reduce wasted man hours spent responding to false alarms,” said Lloyd. “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 can have 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.
Motor vehicle or boat alarms, fire alarms and alarms designed to elicit a medical response do not have to be registered. The registration is free and available online or by calling 866-902-7110. For more information and frequently-asked questions about the program, visit police.cobbcountyga.gov/alarms.htm
Do you think this is a good program? Share your opinion in the Comment Box below.