Sarpy County cracks down on false alarms

SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT)-- Sarpy county is saying enough is enough.

They are tired of emergency officials getting called out to false alarms - so they are getting ready to crackdown.

In any given week, Bellevue Police Sergeant Mike Pettit says there are upward of 20-30 false alarm calls.

Anything from a dog tripping a home alarm to a delivery truck setting off an alarm at a business. If it isn't shut off or canceled before officials are dispatched, that's a false alarm.

Communications Manager for Sarpy county, Megan Stubenhofer-Barrett explains that after five false alarms the county will start charging residents or businesses. Fines start at $50.

"After that, they receive a letter from the sheriff's office. From 6-10 false alarms, there is a $50 fine. More than 11, it's a $100 fine," said Stubenhofer-Barrett.

Sgt. Pettit says 99 times out of 100 alarm calls will be false alarms.

"We don't shy away from them even if we know it's a repeat alarm call., something that we have been to five times that day, every time we are still going to respond," said Pettit.

The false alarm ordinance went into effect nine months ago. Since then there have been 1,200 false alarms. That is about five a day. Of those, 22 are repeat offenders who will not be receiving a letter in the mail from the sheriff's office. The letter will be warning them that they will be charged the next time.

"Anytime we have a false alarm that takes time from dispatchers, it also takes time from the sheriff's officer another jurisdiction, there police department or possible fire," said Stubenhofer-Barrett.