More than three thousand burglary alarm calls have been reported in 2016, but only 1.7% of those calls were considered valid.
In 2016, Columbia Police responded to 3,736 alarm calls; 1.7% of those calls were considered valid. In 2015, police responded to 4,498 calls; 2.2% of those being valid.
Columbia Police Lt. Scott Young says having police respond to all those calls can be a concern for public safety because a majority of the calls turn out to be false.
Two officers is the minimum. If the alarm is for a bigger priority, even more officers could be sent which means fewer officers patrolling the streets.
Columbia city ordinance requires the person or business generating more than twelve false alarms a year or three false alarms in any 30 day period will be required to pay $100 and they’ll be charged with a misdemeanor.
The city and police are working on a new ordinance that would change the way these incidents are handled. ABC 17 News reached out to Columbia Police Assistant Police Chief John Gordon, and in an e-mail response, CPD is still in the process of working on a new ordinance but details have not been determined.
Police say pets walking by motion detectors in the house and people not knowing how to properly deactivate and activate the systems are common ways false alarms are triggered.