New Sandy Springs alarm ordinance begins next month

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In an effort to cut down on the thousands of false alarm calls they get each year, the City of Sandy Springs will begin enforcing a new ordinance next month.

The City Council passed the "true verification" ordinance last June but gave residents and alarm companies a full year to get into compliance.

According to the city, they get an average of nearly 10,000 false alarm calls each year, which represents 99.5 percent of their alarm calls. 

"That's a big burden on not only the 911 center but then on the officers that are having to go out to all those homes and businesses to find it's a false alarm," explained Sandy Springs Communications Director Sharon Kraun.

Under the new ordinance, alarm companies must verify a burglar or intruder alarm by using audio, video or an in-person verification before notifying 911.  The policy, however, does not change the city's response to panic, duress, hold-up, medical or fire alarms from alarm systems. 

Some residents have expressed concerns about the new policy, but Kraun said that it will enhance the city's emergency response.

"It'll actually improve safety because when they go to those calls, they know that there's a reasonable assumption that there's a crime in progress," Kraun said. 

Sandy Springs is hosting an expo for residents to meet with alarm companies Monday at City Hall from 6 to 8 p.m.