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Wed, Nov. 13

New town ordinance will reduce false alarms

Trib file graphic

Trib file graphic

The Prescott Valley Town Council Thursday approved an ordinance designed to cut down on false alarm calls received by police dispatch, while generating estimated revenue between $4,000-$6,000 in civil fines annually to the Town.

Interim Police Chief James Edelstein explained that those fees are a way to recover the costs associated with sending officers to false alarm calls when no criminal activity has taken place.

Violators would pay a $52 fee after the second and subsequent false alarms over a one-year period.

The Maryland-based provider, AOT Public Safety Corporation, will perform the alarm tracking and billing services under a 3-year contract, with an option for renewal. In addition, AOT will receive monthly payments based on collection reports and invoices, according to the contract's terms of agreement.

Edelstein said the false alarm management system, otherwise known as "Operation Cry Wolf," dovetails easily with the police department's CAD system through an interactive Web-based application that will allow for easy citizen access. As the system's administrator, Edelstein will control and review the efforts in reducing false alarms.

In addition, after a first false alarm incident, citizens may register their alarms by mail, telephone or via a dedicated Website, which will include false alarm reduction tips, a review of the ordinance and appeal requirements.

Edelstein said AOT has a history of providing good service, and the police department will not need to incorporate any new infrastructure or hire additional staff to maintain the program. He mentioned that the City of Avondale has successfully used this program since 2010.

The ordinance will take effect after Town and AOT staff begin the customer interface work on the Website, Edelstein said.

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