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Greenville Police Official Media Releases

Posted on: October 26, 2018

New Alarm Ordinance to Improve Police Readiness & Public Safety

(GREENVILLE)- The City of Greenville has approved changes to its Alarm Ordinance in an effort to significantly reduce the number of false burglar alarm activations requiring a police response. Set to take effect on November 1, 2018, these changes were requested by the Greenville Police Department (GPD) due to the especially high rate of false alarms in Greenville over the last several years. 

“Behind collisions, alarm activations are our second most active service calls. On average, we respond to more than 5,000 alarm calls a year, and over 90-percent of them are false alarms,” said Chief Ken Miller. “The purpose behind these changes is to help the Greenville Police Department reduce unnecessary work, so we can better focus on the important crime reduction and traffic safety needs of our community.”

Here are breakdowns of all security alarm calls since 2015:

Incident

2015

2016

2017

*2018

Alarms Reported

4888

5247

5115

3342

False Alarms

4686

4721

4514

3006

Actual Event

202

526

601

336

Percentage False

96%

90%

88%

90%

     *Year to Date through October 22, 2018

Effective November 1, 2018, the following changes go into effect:

1.    Alarmed locations will receive two (2) no-charge alarms per alarm permit year. 

2.    The failure to pay false alarm charges within 30 days will result in the alarm fee being doubled.

3.    Civil penalties for false alarms begin at $50. There will be a fee variance for alarms eight (8) and above for business alarms versus residential alarms: 

•    Residential false alarm fees will max out at $250 per false alarm for activation eight (8) and above.

•    Businesses with false alarms ten (10) and above will be charged $500 per false activation.

4.    Businesses deemed to be unresponsive after repeated contact efforts to pay false alarm fees may be subject to business license revocation through due process.

Panic alarm activations will not be affected by any of these changes. Police will continue to be dispatched without exception.  

Multiple business and residential addresses have been identified for unpaid charges for police responses to numerous false alarm activations. Despite multiple notifications from the GPD, there remains almost $200,000 in delinquent fines, penalties, and interest as of October 23, 2018. 

Businesses that continue to fail to pay are at risk of having their City business licenses suspended and residential alarm holders risk having their accounts moved to a collection agency.

The Greenville Police Communications Center (9-1-1 Dispatch) is contacting all registered businesses and residences with alarms within the GPD’s jurisdiction of the impending changes via mail and emailing this week.

The amended Alarm Ordinance is available for viewing in its entirety at:

Full Alarm Ordinance
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