Naperville Police May Increase Penalties for False Burglar Alarms

By Barrett, Kevin | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 5, 1999 | Go to article overview

Naperville Police May Increase Penalties for False Burglar Alarms


Barrett, Kevin, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kevin Barrett Daily Herald Staff Writer

Naperville police respond to between 15 and 20 false burglar alarms a day.

At about 30 minutes each, that comes out to 10 hours of work, or more than an entire shift for a full-time officer.

It's those kinds of statistics, coupled with the steadily rising number of bogus calls, that have city officials looking at increasing penalties for repeat offenders, said Marita Manning, crime prevention specialist with the city's police department.

Officials outlined the new proposals during a meeting with Naperville merchants earlier this week.

So far, they seem to be gaining momentum, especially with the support of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

"We think it's something that needs to be dealt with," said Mike Skarr, chamber president.

The biggest of the proposed changes is aimed right at merchants' cash registers and homeowners' wallets.

Under the new provisions, fees for some false alarms will rise to nearly three times their present rate.

As before, there is no charge for response to the first three alarms in a given year.

But, with the change, the next four to 10 false alarms will cost $100 a piece. Numbers 11 to 15 are $200 each and any more than 15 are $350.

In addition, all alarm-monitoring companies will be required to confirm the veracity of a call before police are notified and respond.

Finally, police will restrict their responses to any location accumulating 15 or more false alarms a year.

The final provision is aimed at businesses that would rather budget for the fines than do anything to change their alarm system, Manning said.

The city has wrestled with false alarms for years now. …

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