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County Executive Leopold Signs False Alarm Legislation into Law to Free Up Police Resources

Public safety measure penalizes repeat offenders

Annapolis (June 23, 2009) - County Executive John R. Leopold today signed into law legislation aimed at decreasing the time police officers spend responding to false alarms.

"This is a public safety measure because it gives our officers more time to devote to crime fighting," County Executive Leopold said. "Industry experts say that false alarms can be prevented. We want to make sure our Police Department has all the tools necessary to keep our residents safe."

The legislation becomes effective in 45 days. In 2008, the Anne Arundel County Police Department received 31,206 alarms calls. Of that, only 230 were found to be true alarms. On average it takes two officers approximately 16.5 minutes to handle an alarm call. Based on 2008 statistics, there were 8,582 needless resource hours expended on false alarms.

"It makes no sense for officers to respond to the same address over and over again for no reason," said Councilman Josh Cohen, who co-sponsored the bill. "I was proud to co-sponsor this common-sense legislation."

The Police Department plans to reach out to alarm companies as well as individuals and businesses to educate them about the requirements of the new legislation, including an online registration process.

>> Bill 41-09 Icon: PDF

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