Sandy Springs passes alarm ordinance with amendment

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In an effort to cut down on false alarms, the Sandy Springs City Council put the final touches on the “True Verify” ordinance Tuesday night.

With a unanimous vote, the council approved an amendment to the ordinance. They added a requirement of proof of an emergency within 24 hours of the 911 call.

Captain Dan Nable, with the Sandy Springs Police, has headed up the Special Project.

“Sometime within 24 hours from the time you’ve asked for dispatch you provide us a short video or audio clip that shows us what it was that you used to verify,” said Captain Nable.

He said recordings could be provided by the alarm company or resident.

They could include things like audio of an intruder breaking a window or video of the bad guy in a house.

Captain Nable told FOX 5 News another method involves a private guard sent to the home by the alarm company ahead of police.

“He Responds in the same manner as a police officer does and checks it if it turns out to be a false alarm than the police officers time hasn’t been wasted.

He outlined the problem for the Sandy Springs City Council.

“In the last four weeks we’ve had over 500 alarm calls and 100 percent have been false.,” Captain Nable told the Council.

With the overwhelming majority of calls being false alarms, fines are $25 for the first offense, $150 for the second and $250 for the third within a year’s time.

Resident Kelly Harrison has concerns.

“When I’m away, with my basic alarm system I’m given the feeling that if the alarm goes off they’re not going to respond so that’s a concern,” said Harrison.

Captain Nable said 911 will still send help for panic alarms, fire emergencies, hold-ups and the like. 

“We’ll always go to those no matter what verification is not needed on any of those,” said Captain Nable.

He said with so many options for burglar alarms and new technology it’s best for residents to shop around for their service.

The ordinance takes effect on June 19.

Captain Nable said Seattle, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City are among cities already implementing the “true verify” system.

RELATED: New Sandy Springs alarm ordinance begins next month