In 2011, the Alexandria Police Department responded to 6,095 burglary alarm calls. At the time it was 10% of the total number of calls responded to by the Alexandria Police Department. More than 97% of those calls were deemed false. At an estimated amount of $40 dollars per call it cost taxpayers $243,800 to respond to the alarm calls in 2011.
All users of alarm systems installed in buildings, structures or facilities which alert persons of hazardous conditions or unlawful entry are required by Ordinance #137-1996 to pay a one-time fee of $20.00. This cost is designed to offset the cost of regulating false alarms. The ordinance prohibits operating an alarm system within the City of Alexandria without a permit. The following are frequently asked questions:
How do I obtain a permit for my alarm system?
A citizen may obtain an alarm permit application by contacting the Alexandria Police Department’s permit section at 318-441-6492, or print out the form online (www.alexandrialapolice.org). Once the application is complete, mail the application and a check or money order in the amount of $20, to the address below (make check or money order payable to Alexandria Police Alarm Billing).
Alexandria Police Department
1000 Bolton Ave.
Alexandria, LA 71301
What happens if I failed to obtain an Alarm Permit?
Violators of the Ordinance will be fined, upon conviction, $100.00, for each alarm responded to when the user is not registered.
How does the Alexandria Police Department track alarm activations?
The Alexandria Police Department has installed a computerized billing system which tracks alarm activations. When activation occurs at a residence that does not have a permit, that resident is sent an alarm permit application, along with a form letter explaining the Ordinance and potential fines for lack of a permit. The resident has 10 days to comply with the Ordinance or face additional fines.
What if my alarm activates for false reasons?
The Ordinance provides each user of an alarm system, 2 free false alarm responses each year. The alarm user will be assessed a $25 fine for the third false alarm. On false alarm 4 through 9. A $50 fine will be imposed. A $100 fine for false alarm number 10. After 10 false alarms your permit may be revoked and a $100 fine will be imposed for each alarm responded to with a revoked permit.
Should the alarm user repair a faulty system within 5 days of the false alarm dispatch, the alarm user can forward a copy of the service ticket within 10 days of the dispatch to the Alarm Reduction Section. The Alarm Administrator will then review the service ticket to determine if a waiver will be given on a fine incurred.
The following are documents that can assist you in operating your alarm system without error. Please work with the Alexandria Police Department in reducing the number of false alarm calls.
High winds sometimes cause an unusual increase in police dispatch to alarm sites. These types of false activations are not eligible for a waiver of fees. Please ensure that all doors and windows have no movement in them (especially garage doors). All door and windows should be flush when closed. Also check that the security system's sensitivity to high winds.
Precautions such as this will help you avoid having to pay unnecessary fines for false alarm activations.
Studies have shown that user error is the number one cause of false alarm activations. This problem can be corrected by distributing pass codes and/or code words to any person who is authorized to use the alarm system and has access to the facility. Some suggestions include:
- Issue a pass code to the keypad, which can also be used as the password for the monitoring center to cancel false activations.
- Issue pass codes before an individual is issued a key to the site.
When proper pass codes are provided to the security monitoring centers, police are not dispatched. Police Officers are then available to be dispatched to other types of emergency calls, and the alarm user is not fined for a false activation.