BEND, OR -- Bend Police will start penalizing those with monitored alarms, for false alarms that force a police response. Bend Police Chief Jim Porter tells KBND News, "At the beginning of the year, we had a crime analyst in our office with us, and I asked her what is the biggest waste of time we had – what did we spend time on that is zero productivity and is absorbing our time. And, she immediately, off the top of her head without looking at the stats, said it’s the false alarms for response."
He says stats show about 2/3 of the alarm calls police responded to in 2015 were false alarms. "We had 2300 alarms last year. Of those 2300, about 1700 were false alarms caused by either inattentiveness, a system that needs to be worked on, or people who just weren’t engaged with how to use the alarm – like a new-hire employee who isn’t given the alarm code."
Chief Porter says fines won't be imposed until the second false alarm. "The first alarm is a warning letter; we provide you with a warning letter. The second false alarm is a $250 fine, which you have the right to appeal. I look at the facts, and determine in fact if there was anything they could have done to prevent the alarm." The third offense carries a $500 fine, and it goes up to $1200 by the fourth. After that, he says the department could decide not to respond to that location. "Our job at the police department is not to collect revenue from people, but is to change people’s behavior."
to listen to our full conversation with Bend Police Chief Jim Porter.