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DeKalb's False Alarm Ordinance Goes into Effect Dec. 1

Following the city of Atlanta's lead in assessing fines for false alarm notifications, the DeKalb County Police and Fire Rescue departments will implement a new program to reduce the number of false alarm activations in the county starting Dec. 1.

Public Safety Corp., which is running Atlanta's false calls program, will take over alarm registrations, false alarm notifications, billing and collections for the county through its CryWolf program. The agreement between DeKalb County and Public Safety Corp. was approved in April 2013.

County officials say the agreement ensures more DeKalb County officers and Fire Rescue personnel will be available to answer higher priority calls and address crime reduction efforts.

During the last three years, DeKalb police responded to an average of more than 70,000 alarms per year and at least 89 percent were false alarms.

DeKalb Fire Rescue has responded to an average of 7,000 alarm system calls annually during that same period where 75 percent were false alarms.

Under the new program, beginning Dec. 1, fines will be levied for the second false alarm and each one thereafter. The county predicts this new system will reduce false calls by up to 70 percent within the first year of implementation.

It is anticipated that using the system will reduce false alarms by as much as 70 percent in one year after implementation.

Under the county ordinance, all alarm system companies are required to register and any business that provides alarm monitoring, servicing or installation also is required to register.  Alarm companies doing business in unincorporated DeKalb County are responsible for registering their customers with CryWolf.

If a resident pays an alarm company for monitoring service that alarm company is responsible for registering the alarm on the resident’s behalf.  In addition, the alarm companies will be responsible for the $5 registration fee for each of its residential customers. 

Alarm companies can register online at www.crywolf.us/oss/dekalbcoga.  A link to the registration website is also available through the county’s website at www.dekalbcountyga.gov under “Police Department.”  Helpful tips for residents on how to reduce a majority of false alarms as well as complete details of the program can also be obtained on the website. 

For more information on CryWolf or registration, call Public Safety Corp. at its customer service phone number: 877.665.2988.

Shelli Godfrey December 08, 2013 at 06:00 PM
My biggest concern is people will stop using their alarm systems rather than worry about a false alarm fee. Of course the last time I had a "false alarm," my brother-in-law knew the code but not how to work the alarm system. I was on a plane at the time and when I landed and called the alarm company to tell them it was OK, 20 minutes had passed and the police never did visit my house...which has had two break-ins this year.

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