City Hopes New Technology Reduces False Alarms
Buffalo, NY – The city of Buffalo plans to install a new high-tech system designed to cut the number of false alarms and help police track and fine offenders.
The city spends more than $5 million a year responding to false alarms. That's enough to pay the salaries and benefits of nearly 70 police or firefighters.
The new tracking and billing program is called "Cry Wolf" and is being used in about 40 municipalities across North America. The computer software program was installed in Toronto this month.
Buffalo police answered more than 24,000 false alarms in 2001. Ninety-three percent of all burglary alarm calls police responded to in homes and businesses were false alarms.
A city law passed in 1995 requires that all alarm systems be registered at a cost of $20 every two years. Fines are levied if police or fire crews respond to more than three false alarms at any location in a year. The new software will help police enforce that law more effectively. (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APNP 01-27-03 0959EST