LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Possible fee for alarm system users


Louisville Metro Police are proposing a new fee to help the department generate money. If you or your business has an alarm system, it could cost you more to use it.

The Metro already has a false alarm ordinance. You are allowed two false alarms before a bill is sent to you. But now, LMPD Chief Robert White is proposing an additional fee to anyone who has an alarm system registered with the police department.

White detailed spending for LMPD's fiscal year 2011 budget Tuesday afternoon. The hot topic: all the time the Metro officers spend on responding to false alarms.

"Officers were responding to hold up alarms and burglar alarms at a rate of about 98% false alarms," said White.

Since the Metro adopted its false alarm ordinance back in 2004, White says officers have responded to fewer false alarms because people are more cautious and reluctant to be fined. But to help generate money, White is asking the Metro Council to consider passing a fee to anyone who has an alarm system registered with the police department.  Homeowners would have to pay a $25 annual fee; businesses would have to pay $50 a year.

"This is a revenue generator," said White.

Already, some council members expressed concern.

"Why is administration trying to balance its budget on the backs of the community?" said Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, (D-District 3).

And that's the same question business owner Shevvy Baker wants to know.

"I think it's outrageous," said Baker, owner of the Watch Shop on Fourth Street. 

As a small business owner and someone who also has a security system at home, getting slapped with an annual fee twice would hurt in these tough times. 

"With the economy the way it is, we'd just have to pass that on to our customers," Baker said.

White's proposal would also require anyone with an alarm system to register with the city. The proposal will be introduced at the city's upcoming council meeting on Thursday, June 10.