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False Alarms

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NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | December 9, 2008
HAGERSTOWN-- Washington County and Hagerstown City officials are discussing a proposal that would fine homeowners and business owners for having faulty security systems that cause authorities to respond to false alarms. Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore and Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith presented the proposal to the City Council during a Tuesday work session. Smith said the proposal, if passed by the City Council and the Washington County Commissioners, would allow authorities to give a warning on the first and second offenses and a citation on the third offense.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | December 15, 2004
Residents and businesses whose alarms falsely go off repeatedly could be fined under a proposal by the Washington County Sheriff's Department. Sheriff Charles F. Mades pitched the idea to the Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday. The commissioners agreed by consensus to include the proposal in its list of requests they'll take to the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly on Thursday. Lt. Randy Wilkinson said that more than 99 percent of the times deputies respond to alarm calls, the alarms turn out to be false.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | March 19, 2012
New regulations being considered in Washington Township, Pa., would create fines for properties that have frequent false alarms for fire service. On Monday, the Washington Township Supervisors and Waynesboro Fire Chief Dave Martin discussed firefighters responding to calls for falsely tripped or malfunctioning alarm systems. “Some people do not move too fast to fix it,” Martin said. The supervisors questioned what steps could be taken to prevent such false calls. Neighboring Antrim Township, Pa., has an ordinance stating a property can have three false alarms a year, then fines are assessed starting with the fourth false alarm, Solicitor John Lisko said.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | February 2, 2009
o Alarm calls take up deputies' time To avoid penalizing responsible security alarm-system users for a false-alarm problem caused by a few, the Washington County Sheriff's Department has dropped its request that alarm users be assessed a permit fee, Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said. The department is still proposing a system of fines that would penalize users whose alarm systems summon deputies for nonemergencies three or more times in one year. A public hearing on the proposed ordinance and fine amounts is Tuesday.
NEWS
October 17, 2009
BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- About 10 people attended the Morgan County Commission's public hearing Thursday night on a proposed false alarm ordinance. Because the Morgan County Sheriff's Department spends a lot of time responding to nuisance alarms caused by weather changes or pets that trigger the security alarms, Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh asked the commission to look into a false alarm ordinance based on the one used in Tucker County, W.Va. Shambaugh said his department responds to about 20 to 40 calls per month that turn out to be false alarms.
NEWS
September 29, 2005
Effective Saturday, the Washington County Commissioners can make the penalty for violating the county's animal control ordinance more severe. And if you have an alarm system, false alarms could cost you. Read the full story in Friday's Herald-Mail newspapers.
NEWS
August 15, 1997
By CLYDE FORD Staff Writer, Charles Town CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Emergency Services Director Darrell Penwell calls it the "cry wolf syndrome. " When a home fire alarm or burglary alarm goes off, there's an almost certain chance that it will be a false alarm, Penwell said. Penwell asked the Jefferson County Commissioners on Thursday to look for ways to fight the problem, possibly by billing homeowners for false alarms, which other localities have done.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | February 2, 2009
o Bulk of fire alarms caused by a few Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore estimates each response to a security alarm call ties up deputies for about an hour. Because two deputies are dispatched to each call and deputies make about $35 per hour, Mullendore figures each call costs about $70. Therefore, responding to 3,831 false alarms last year cost more than $250,000, he said. It's also the equivalent of removing 3.68 deputies from the department's staff, or cutting deputies by 8 percent, Mullendore said.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | January 13, 2009
HAGERSTOWN -- The Washington County Commissioners decided Tuesday to hold another public hearing before voting on a controversial ordinance to regulate security alarm systems. The ordinance, proposed by the Washington County Sheriff's Department to cut down on false alarms, would impose fines when deputies are summoned by alarms for nonemergencies three or more times in one year. It would also require alarm system users to obtain permits, and pay a one-time fee of $30 for residential alarms and $60 for nonresidential alarms.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | April 1, 2005
tammyb@herald-mail.com ANNAPOLIS - Several Washington County bills approved by the Maryland House of Delegates made their way to Senate committees on Thursday, where they received a mostly positive hearing. Presented by Washington County Delegation Chairman Christopher B. Shank, they included enabling legislation to allow the county government to: · Add criminal sanctions to its animal control ordinance. · Regulate alarm systems to cut down on false alarms.
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NEWS
September 4, 2012
A call for possible smoke coming out of a shop off West Lee Street around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday turned out to be a false alarm as the smoke was coming out of an exhaust stack, a Washington County Emergency Services supervisor said. Potomac Towers resident Jerry Weddle, 70, said he was watching “Jeopardy” in his sixth-floor apartment, when he saw smoke coming out of what looked like the corner of the nearby shop. Apparatus Repair & Engineering is in the shop, which is next to Ellsworth Electric at 88 W. Lee St. - Julie E. Greene
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NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | March 19, 2012
New regulations being considered in Washington Township, Pa., would create fines for properties that have frequent false alarms for fire service. On Monday, the Washington Township Supervisors and Waynesboro Fire Chief Dave Martin discussed firefighters responding to calls for falsely tripped or malfunctioning alarm systems. “Some people do not move too fast to fix it,” Martin said. The supervisors questioned what steps could be taken to prevent such false calls. Neighboring Antrim Township, Pa., has an ordinance stating a property can have three false alarms a year, then fines are assessed starting with the fourth false alarm, Solicitor John Lisko said.
NEWS
September 14, 2010
PARIS (AP) -- The area under Paris' Eiffel Tower has been opened up to tourists again after an anonymous caller phoned in a bomb threat and police combed through the famous monument looking for suspicious objects. France's BFM television and other French media reported that police found nothing suspicious at the tower, which is France's most popular tourist monument. Paris police headquarters did not immediately respond to calls seeking information. Around midnight in Paris, people were walking around and riding bikes under the tower.
NEWS
August 25, 2010
The Hagerstown and Funkstown fire departments responded this morning to what turned out to be a false alarm at the Review and Herald Publishing Association at 55 W. Oak Ridge Drive in Hagerstown. A firefighter at the scene said there was no fire at the business. The Seventh-day Adventist publishing house publishes magazines, books, study guides and more. It also prints the Adventist Review magazine, according to its website at http://www.reviewandherald.com .
NEWS
October 17, 2009
BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- About 10 people attended the Morgan County Commission's public hearing Thursday night on a proposed false alarm ordinance. Because the Morgan County Sheriff's Department spends a lot of time responding to nuisance alarms caused by weather changes or pets that trigger the security alarms, Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh asked the commission to look into a false alarm ordinance based on the one used in Tucker County, W.Va. Shambaugh said his department responds to about 20 to 40 calls per month that turn out to be false alarms.
NEWS
By TRISH RUDDER | October 16, 2009
 BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.VA. -- About 10 people attended the Morgan County Commission's public hearing Thursday night on a proposed false-alarm ordinance.  Because the Morgan County Sheriff's Department spends a lot of time responding to nuisance alarms caused by weather changes or pets that trigger the security alarms, Morgan County Sheriff Vince Shambaugh asked the commission to look into a false-alarm ordinance that is based on the one used in Tucker County, W.Va.  Shambaugh said his department responds to about 20 to 40 calls a month that are false alarms.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | February 3, 2009
WASHINGTON COUNTY -- The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance that would impose fines for repeated false alarms from security systems. The version of the ordinance approved Tuesday was scaled back from the Washington County Sheriff's Department's original request, taking out the proposed permit fees for alarm system users and the creation of an alarm administrator position. The commissioners also decided to cap the fine amounts at $100 for residential users and $250 for nonresidential users.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | February 2, 2009
o Alarm calls take up deputies' time To avoid penalizing responsible security alarm-system users for a false-alarm problem caused by a few, the Washington County Sheriff's Department has dropped its request that alarm users be assessed a permit fee, Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said. The department is still proposing a system of fines that would penalize users whose alarm systems summon deputies for nonemergencies three or more times in one year. A public hearing on the proposed ordinance and fine amounts is Tuesday.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | February 2, 2009
o Bulk of fire alarms caused by a few Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore estimates each response to a security alarm call ties up deputies for about an hour. Because two deputies are dispatched to each call and deputies make about $35 per hour, Mullendore figures each call costs about $70. Therefore, responding to 3,831 false alarms last year cost more than $250,000, he said. It's also the equivalent of removing 3.68 deputies from the department's staff, or cutting deputies by 8 percent, Mullendore said.
NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | January 13, 2009
HAGERSTOWN -- The Washington County Commissioners decided Tuesday to hold another public hearing before voting on a controversial ordinance to regulate security alarm systems. The ordinance, proposed by the Washington County Sheriff's Department to cut down on false alarms, would impose fines when deputies are summoned by alarms for nonemergencies three or more times in one year. It would also require alarm system users to obtain permits, and pay a one-time fee of $30 for residential alarms and $60 for nonresidential alarms.
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