Salisbury’s False Alarm Penalty Rates Increasing
March 27, 2013 Salisbury, MD – The City of Salisbury has passed an ordinance changing the fees/fines charged for false alarms. Council members are on record stating to the news media that they have reduced the false alarm fees, however this is incorrect. Not only are the new fees higher, but they are also higher than virtually any other jurisdiction in the country.
82% of those subject to the fees will see a 155% increase in costs on average.
As shown below, the home or business that experiences a third false alarm sees a 392% increase in the fee/fine. Any location experiencing 3-10 false alarms will pay a higher fee than before. On the other end of the spectrum, those using/abusing the city’s resources the most, with 14 false alarms, receive a 42% discount.
In summation, the vast majority of those affected by a false alarm fee will pay more, significantly more. The very small number of people experiencing 11 or more false alarms in a year, are the only ones benefiting from a fee reduction, yet they are the ones putting the most strain on the city’s limited resources.
Giving “frequent flyer discounts” to those who have the most calls for service is totally contrary to the purpose of the fee/fine.
Escalating fee/fine structures like the one Salisbury had in place prior to this change, are in use in almost all jurisdictions across the country, are proven to significantly reduce the number of false alarms, and have been successfully defended in many courts.
Voice your opposition to the new “False Alarm Fee Schedule for Police Response”:
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