Setting off false security alarms in VB could lead to hefty fines

Posted at 7:01 PM, Dec 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-10 19:01:21-05

Starting January first in Virginia Beach, setting off a false panic, duress and hold-up alarm that leads to the police coming by could cost $150 for residential alarms and $250 for false commercial alarms.

"The goal is actually to reduce the number of false alarms that officers respond to each year, to free up police resources to answer other calls that need to be answered," said Virginia Beach Officer Jeff Jensen, coordinator of the False Alarm Reduction program within the Virginia Beach Police Department.

This is the second phase of the program.  The first phase kicked off in 2009 and focused on false burglar alarms.

"Before that we averaged about 22,000 false alarms a year," said Jensen.  "That's more than 60 a day."

Jensen says they've cut that number by roughly 32 percent in the last four years.

The first two false alarms at any location within a year will not result in a fee.

Beach police say failing to register or pay false alarm response fees may place the alarm location in a “No Response” category where police units may not respond to future alarms until the location comes into compliance.

Jensen said if the alarm is cancelled before police arrive, it will not count against you.