False alarms mean big money to some Iowa cities

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines and other cities are pulling in big money from false alarms.

The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1c3dT93 ) Iowa’s largest city collected $138,000 for nearly 2,400 billable false alarms last year. In the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale, the city collected $40,800 for false alarms.

Des Moines started charging for false burglar alarms in 2008. The city can charge up to $500 for an initial alarm each year, then up to $750 for each following alarm.

Of the 3,806 burglar alarms that Des Moines police responded to last year, 90 percent were false.

False alarms are an issue throughout the nation. A report by the Washington-based Urban Institute found that such calls take 20 to 40 minutes of an officer’s time.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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