• 54°

Ironton Police suggest city imposes fines for false alarms

Ironton residents could see a fine if they don’t take care of their alarm systems.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Ironton residents could see a fine if they don’t take care of their alarm systems.

Ironton Police Capt. Jerry Leach told council that last year, city police officers made 365 runs due to alarm activations – all of the alarms were false.

Leach said that police officers respond to each alarm as if it was a real alert. Police officers run lights, sirens and drive at high speeds to reach the site where the alarm is activated as soon as possible, he said. A few blocks before reaching the site, police turn off the lights and sirens in order to approach the site as quietly as possible, but continue to drive at high speeds, he added. Driving fast, however, put police and the public at danger.

Leach gave another scenario as to how responding to false alarms can be dangerous to police officers and the public. For example, Leach told city councilman, an alarm could go off in a home, but the homeowner is unaware. Police officers show up at the home expecting to find some sort of criminal activity and begin investigating the area outside the home.

The homeowner, unaware the police have been called to the home, hears someone – the police – rummaging around outside and comes out, maybe with a gun. It’s easy, Leach told councilmen, to see how the situation could lead to a tragedy.

Other cities, Leach said, impose fines against people who have repeat false alarms and Ironton police would like to see Ironton impose the same fine.

Council chairman Jesse Roberts said the city would further investigate the issue.