Alarms & Security Alarm Ordinance

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Why are false alarms a problem? 

False alarms take police and firefighters away from real emergencies. The City of Appleton Police Department initiated a false alarm reduction strategy after responding to over 1000 false alarms in 2005. While legitimate alarms have helped with the apprehension of criminals, the Appleton Police Department has NEVER apprehended a criminal while responding to a FALSE alarm. Over 95% of all alarm activations are false. 

What is being done? 

On January 1, 2007 a new ordinance went into effect as part of a strategy to reduce false security alarms. As of the end of 2008, the strategy has resulted in a reduction of 31% in the number of false security alarms that police officers are dispatched to. 

Under this ordinance, alarm businesses must obtain a permit through the City Clerk's office on an annual basis. Alarm businesses are required to follow certain procedure to try to ascertain whether an actual emergency is occurring prior to contacting the police communications center to request that officers be sent. 

The fees for alarm users who report false alarms were increased to serve as a deterrent to those who don't properly use their alarm systems. Alarm users are encouraged to work in cooperation with their alarm business to ensure that the alarm system is working properly, that they have current information on file for keyholders, and that the alarm users have been properly trained. 

For questions concerning a bill for a false alarm, contact: 

Lt. Kelly Gady #9133
Appleton Police Department 
222 S. Walnut St. 
Appleton, WI 54911 

920-832-5500(phone) or 920-832-5553 (fax)