False Alarms

The Problem With False Alarms
The Shreveport Police Department responds to thousands of alarm calls every year. The majority of these alarms are false and waste police resources. In 2004, it cost over a half million dollars for police response to false alarm calls.

The Shreveport Police Department partners with the community to catch and lock up criminals. False alarms subtract from crime fighting by wasting manpower. Don’t let criminals benefit because officers are too busy dealing with false alarms. False alarms subtract from crime fighting by wasting manpower.

It is not unreasonable to expect your alarm system to work properly. Any problem can be solved with a little effort and time. We are always here and willing to assist you in any way that we can.

There are three reasons why an alarm activates:
  • A police or medical emergency occurred
  • An alarm user made an error
  • Equipment issues

All of these causes will require some attention.

Faulty Equipment
Faulty equipment is not due to your negligence, and you will not have to pay the false alarm fine unless you fail to have it repaired. Have your alarm company repair the equipment (providing us with the paperwork within the time limits listed in the alarm ordinance) and we will adjust the fines so you do not have to pay.

Equipment will also require tweaking sometimes. Your alarm should not go off just because a locked door was rattled; this is a repair issue. Building structure and environmental problems, antiquated equipment and the misapplication of equipment are just a few examples of situations that can cause false alarms.

User Error
User error is the number one cause of false alarms. You can have one alarm user fine adjusted per year, per alarm address by having an alarm company give you (and/or your employees, family members, etc.) an alarm user class.

Submit the paperwork to us within the time limits of the ordinance and you will not have to pay for one alarm user fine. An alarm user class will provide information that can prevent false alarms. For example; most keypads can be programmed for more delay time to exit or enter, and if you set off your alarm inadvertently, you must contact your alarm company and give them the code, so they do not unnecessarily dispatch police.

Actual Emergencies
A police or medical emergency is the alarm doing exactly what it was designed to do. Your house or business is like your child: you know every mark on it. An officer checking the building at night does not know every mark, may not see pry marks, or be able to tell if damage is new or old.

If a crime or an attempted crime occurred and the damage is minor, it may not be detected by police and be closed as a false alarm call. If an alarm user discovers damage that proves there was an attempted break-in, they must call the police back out to make a report.

The alarm user must also notify the alarm administrator. If the false alarm call and attempted crime report occur at different times, we have no way of knowing there is a connection unless you call us.

The bonus in the alarm ordinance is that even if there is nothing wrong with your alarm system, you can have one fine adjusted per calendar year by just having a service call and providing us with the paperwork within the time constraints of the alarm ordinance. Everybody wins with a properly operating alarm system - you, the police, and your alarm company.