Bylaw clears final hurdle
Airdrie City council approved the amended Security Systems Bylaw, June 4.
Airdronians will now be billed for false alarms when RCMP is dispatched whether an officer attends the scene or not.
Alderman Allan Hunter was the lone dissenter of the bylaw.
“I support in principle not wasting police resources, but if the police aren’t dispatched we have a tax base to help pay for the ancillary costs (administration),” said Hunter.
“If we are going to start cherry-picking things out of the tax base to start collecting for, where is the limit? I still work for the taxpayers, I am not going to support… an administrative fee on a false alarm.”
Council first implemented the Security Systems Bylaw in January.
The amending item appeared before council on Jan. 16, March 5 and May 7, when council gave first and second reading to the bylaw.
Residents and businesses will not be charged for a first infraction. Second infractions within 12 months will result in a $75 charge for homeowners and $125 charge for businesses. On third and subsequent fractions within a year, homeowners will be billed $150 and businesses $250 for each offence.
Previously, Airdrie residents were charged $75 and businesses were fined $125 only if officers attended. Last year, RCMP officers were called to 1,068 false alarms. There were 159 false alarm fines for non-residential and 113 for residential properties.
A previous staff report stated there are at least three people, including a dispatcher, RCMP support person and officer, involved if police are dispatched but don’t attend a false alarm.
On average, a false alarm takes half an hour to deal with.
There was little discussion at the meeting, but aldermen Kelly Hegg, Fred Burley, Ron Chapman, Glenda Anderson, Deputy Mayor Murray Buchanan and Mayor Peter Brown voted in favour of amending the bylaw.