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Posted on: January 15, 2020

Police start false alarm reduction program

Alarm Reduction Program logo

The City of Lenoir Police Department is launching a voluntary alarm registration program to help reduce the number of false alarm calls in the city.

City of Lenoir Police Capt. Couby Stilwell said sending officers to false alarms takes up time that could be spent patrolling the city or answering other legitimate calls. He hopes the new Alarm Reduction Program will help reduce false alarm calls and help property owners as well.

"We respond to quite a few false alarms every month," Capt. Stilwell said. "Obviously, we don’t mind responding to alarms; that’s our job. But, we would like to try to reduce the number of false alarm calls."

Capt. Stilwell said a few common causes for false alarms are pets, defective alarms, and problems with motion sensors.

"Lots of times, people will leave their pets out after setting their alarm. The pets will walk around the house or property and trigger the motion sensor, which sets off the alarm," Capt. Stilwell said.

To help reduce false alarm calls, the Police Department is asking residents and businesses with alarms in the city limits to register their alarms. If a property has three false alarms within six months, an officer is going to contact the property owner to discuss the issue.

"There are numerous times when we respond to a call and are trying to get in touch with the property owner or business key holder, and we do not have any contact information," Stilwell said. "If there is a false alarm, or a real emergency, it really helps if we can contact the owner quickly."

The registration form asks about the types of alarms at a property, sirens, motion lights, vehicles, pets, and guns. Capt. Stilwell said those are things officers would want to know when responding to any call for service.

"These are all questions that we would ask a property owner before we go into a building," Capt. Stilwell said. "We would like to know all the potential risks if possible."

For example, if officers show up to a location and two vehicles are parked outside, the registration form could tell officers whether those vehicles are supposed to be there.

Capt. Stilwell said property owners can reduce false alarm calls by maintaining their alarm systems and keeping pets confined when the owners are gone.

"If you do have a false alarm, or repeated false alarms, contact the alarm company and ask what could be causing the problem," Capt. Stilwell said. "An alarm system that’s not working isn’t much use to anyone."

The Police Department is asking property owners with alarm systems to download, complete, and submit this form to the Police Department via mail, fax, email, or in person. Each form will need to be notarized before the department can register your alarm. Police Department staff can help notarize the forms. The program is voluntary.

For more information, contact Crime Analyst Danielle Gainey at 828-757-2130, email alarms@cityoflenoir.com.

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