False alarms costly to township


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Alarm drops are costing Madison Township money and Police Chief Gary York is looking at ways to curb costs while protecting the public.

During the April 25 Madison Township trustees’ meeting, York said there were 131 false alarms in a two month reporting period for residential and commercial calls for service. The township is charged approximately $16 per call by their dispatching service.

“Now, with added costs for dispatching, it adds up,” said York. “Two months in and we’re already at $2,000 (false alarm calls). There is a provision in the Ohio Revised Code for charging for false alarms.”

There are many reasons for alarm drops, such as faulty alarms and human error. False alarms trigger a response by law enforcement, but chronic incidents are the primary focus for York.

While still in the discussion phase, York said the process would begin with a letter notifying a property owner or business there is a problem with repeated false alarms. If the problem continues, the next step could include assessing a fee.

Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst said the fire department has similar, albeit smaller, issues with alarm drops as well.

“This is just a discussion,” said York.

Other township news
•Residents with vocal canines are being put on notice if their dog’s barking becomes excessive and disturbs neighbors.

“We’ve had a lot more calls than anticipated,” said Brobst, who said a noise resolution passed in 2010 addresses barking dogs. “Our resolution does already allow them (law enforcement) to enforce excessive barking. The chief is going to monitor that over the next couple of months. We wanted to get that out there with the nicer weather.”

Although there was a request to amend the noise resolution to specifically list barking dogs, York said the prosecutor said there is sufficient language in the current resolution to enforce violations.

•The success of a fire cadet partnership with Eastland-Fairfield is reaping benefits two years after it started, according to Fire Chief Derek Robinson. The senior-only program started small, but now has a pair of full time instructors and blossomed to 40 students.

“Out of the first class we hired a cadet,” said Robinson. “The program has become so popular, we have 60 applicants for next year.”


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