Permit fees are going down in San Diego. But fines for false dispatches are going up. That’s one way for a city to take a strong step to get reductions in unnecessary alarm activations. SIAC supports what San Diego is doing.
A committee of the city council voted last week to take the steps noted above. While the full council still must approve the changes later this spring, we’re heartened by the important provisions San Diego includes in this measure, including: 2-call confirmation; permit fees; and a tiered fine system that increases after each false dispatch.
We’ve found over and over across North America that behavior doesn’t change without a structure in place to drive actions. Then, enforcement must occur. Once these new provisions get to the next step and are incorporated by the police into their local ordinance, with enforcement, then alarm management practices improve.
Good job San Diego! The city previously charged only when multiple false alarms had prompted revocation of a permit, which happened relatively frequently. While the new approach is expected to reduce revenue, we believe the results will be better, as the fines come sooner and should get the results the city seeks.
The results should also free up officer time. The changes are something we call can get behind.