This story came to me last night by a small business owner. I admit until then I had not heard about this so I made a few calls to some other business owners I know and was surprised, well not really, by this program designed to once again generate more money for Abramson and cronies.
A little known Metro Government Code of Ordinance is Chapter 127. I admit until yesterday I didn't know anything about it but I am quickly coming up to speed. Chapter 127 concerns false alarms in the City. It is called False Alarm Reduction Program (FARP). Yep you heard that right we have an ordinance aimed at reducing false alarms by our Police.
The funny thing is it seems to be nothing but another pathetic way to generate revenue.
My small business owner friend just received a bill from FARP for $100 due to "false" alarms going off on some buildings they own. The property has a built in alarm system and is in a high crime area. Police have made late night runs there 3 times due to the alarm going off.
Why in the world would you fine a business for using a security system designed to prevent theft?
If you are a thief and the alarm goes off in most cases you run away so what are the chances the thief would still be there when the police arrive? Very small if not zero yet this from the FARP says it all:
The purpose of the Louisville Metro Code of Ordinances Chapter 127 is to encourage burglar alarm users and alarm companies to properly use, install and maintain the operational effectiveness of burglar alarm systems in order to improve the reliability of alarm systems and reduce or eliminate false alarms. A false alarm is a request to dispatch police to an alarm site when there is no evidence of a criminal offense or attempted criminal offense.
Of course if the alarm is working properly it goes off when anyone attempts to break in, as it is supposed to, if the thief leaves then there is no evidence in many cases. Before anyone says there must be evidence I say hogwash.
Many alarm systems are set on motion detectors. A heavy handed attempt or blatant trying to force open say a garage door will set the alarm off. If there is not someone on site 24/7, and in the case of small business there generally isn't, think warehouses and storage units, then there would be no physical evidence other than the fact the alarm itself was working and doing its job.
Now we charge for dispatching police to the scene?
Isn't that what we pay taxes for?
That's the rub. To reduce costs of policing the City, that we are paying for, Metro has found one more way to bring in new money by charging us for what we already pay for now. Here is a list from Metro Ordinance Chapter 127 that even tells you how to reduce false alarms http://www.louisvilleky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/1DC46340-408A-4EB1-8417-F1274D4E7725/0/StepstoReduceFalseAlarms.pdf .
If you feel you have caused a false alarm, immediately notify your alarm and/or monitoring company and cancel the police dispatch. All calls cancelled before police arrive on scene are not charged as a false alarm.
Let's see 2:30 am I am in bed asleep and my alarm company calls me to tell me my alarm is going off in a storage building I own and they have dispatched police. What do I do? I thank them for the call and I most certainly do not cancel the dispatch. Why would I?
I pay taxes for our police to protect and to serve and they do that job admirably. Why should I be forced to pay a fee for using what we already pay for?
Just one more example of Metro scraping for new revenues because of the failed leadership, greed, corruption, and graft by Abramson and cronies in my opinion.
And funnily enough, as usual, the City does not send the bill. They use yet another out of state entity to do so for them. Read this:
To pay a false alarm penalty, please send payment to:
False Alarm Reduction Unit
c/o Fifth Third
P O Box 636148
Cincinnati, OH 45263-6148
Liens shall be placed on property when civil penalties are unpaid. Are you kidding me?
Any wonder why business is reluctant to move to Louisville? These continual added charges on anything and everything we do adds up. And as we have found out through MSD many of these places have out of town owners who pay these fees because it is cheaper than having to fight them. They consider it a cost of doing business. A cost that gets passed along to the consumer anyway.
I consider it pathetic. What about local business owners who are struggling to survive? Or worse.
Say you are in an abusive relationship and call the police 3 times and they respond 3 different times but by the time they get there the abuser has fled and there is no evidence other than the abused word. Without evidence is this a false alarm?
Will the person abused then pay a $100 fine as well? Since most abuse happens in poor households, statistically speaking, how willing will someone in a domestic violence situation be to come forward then? Is this where we are headed?
Charging a service run for police protection that we are paying for already?
This is how the machine pads its pockets.
Our police motto is to protect and to serve. I think it is time we started protecting ourselves from being served by Metro government and stop these idiocies.
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