Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Should We Should Stop Answering Private Property Accident Calls and Alarm Calls?

Gwinnett County is facing a 225 million dollar budget cut. Charles Walters, Gwinnett Chief of Police stated the police department will re-evaluate answering private property accident and alarm calls.

Here in DeKalb, the department should also re-evaluate private property accident and alarm calls. Let’s try to keep this simple: Out of one pocket, the taxpayer pays their insurance company. Out of the other pocket they pay taxes for law enforcement. There is an accident in a mall parking lot. The police are called to write a report for the insurance company. Very rarely are citations written, so therefore no revenue to pay for the service call. In short, the police are just a report taker for the insurance company. Over all profits for insurance companies are enormous.

Continuing on, out of one pocket the taxpayer pays an alarm company for service. Out of the other pocket they pay taxes for law enforcement. There is an alarm call. Police arrive on the scene and over 60% of the time the alarm is false. No revenue generated to pay for the service call. Alarm companies make enormous profits on the backs of the police and taxpayer.

The simple solution? Stop answering private properly accident calls. There is a form online the parties can get at any precinct to complete after they have traded information, as required by law.

If an alarm is activated, the alarm company should be required to respond. If the alarm is valid or if it’s an in progress call; then the police respond. If the alarm is false, the alarm company can handle it. Why does the police department respond to a false alarm to tell the alarm company it is false? Ah you say, but people are fined after the 3rd false alarm. Are they? Last word was the county is 6 months behind in billing for false alarms.

But in reality the insurance and alarm companies have the politicians in their pockets. We wonder how much campaign money each commissioner receives from the insurance and alarm companies. We also wonder how many alarm companies are owned by friends and families of the commissioners

The madness continues.


Anonymous said...

actually 99% of alarms are false. Continuing to respond to the same false alarms over and over is just plain stupid

I'm no Genius, but..... said...

How about a little common sense.

Alarms: We already have county ordinances and procedures in place for assessing fees and/or penalties for excessive alarm calls. START CHARGING THESE PEOPLE FOR THEM!

Private property accidents: tickets aren't issued so revenue is not generated. Simple solution - Copies of private property accident reports now cost $125.

Why make things complicated. Oh yeah, I forgot...its the Dekalb way: Common Sense will NOT be tolerated.

Anonymous said...

We have always and will always be "bell boy's" for the insurance and alarm companies.

Anonymous said...

Anyone ever thought to clear out some of the top brass to save money? Salary, comps, perks, insurance, etc., for one upper brass could keep how many officers on the street? Oh, sorry, I forgot, you get rid of the lower paid position, not the higher paid position!

Anonymous said...

There are other departments that charge a fee for the officer doing the private property form. Can't say I agree with not responding to alarms though. If Gwinnett stops responding, I might think about relocating. I don't trust the alarm company to handle it correctly.

Better DeKalb said...

I say charge for false alarms. It will help add revenue to the department (to allow for more officers, cars). I'm a citizen and wouldn't mind paying a fine for false alarms. Any citizen who takes an officer off the street for a non-urgent call should pay!

Word to the wise: Just don't have Recorder's Court collect the fines.

Anonymous said...

I believe the police should continue to respond to the alarm calls. But instead of charging the home or business owner after the third alarm, Dekalb County should charge the alarm company. The alarm company can then pass the charges down to the home or business owner.

Additionally, if we stop responding to private accidents, we will certainly have more hit and run incidents. I would prefer we respond with an SR13 and ensure they exchange information and prevent a need for an investigation. Either that or allow civilian or retired officers to respond and complete these reports.

Common Sense said...

Private property accidents should go the way of lost cell phone reports.

When we stopped doing those reports, I think the tag line was "the insurance companies do not dictate policy."

LoFlyer said...

I think I can help y'all out with this one. Get the police union to lobby our legislature to change the law from charging the citizen to charging the alarm company. The alarm companies have no incentive to cut down on false alarms with poorly installed alarms. They are in a supply and demand market, if LE starts charging the Alarm monitoring companies the problems will get fixed. The consumer will not stand for being charged for a call caused by a poor alarm system

Anonymous said...

Police union? The closest thing we have to any representation is this blog.

LoFlyer said...

Anon10, Haar! DeKalb employees are in the same boat, except worse. Fire and police services recieve a large amount of constant training to stay current with the latest tactics and technology. Police and fire are always the first to get raises whilst county employees raises are always defered because we only have a certain amount of money for raises and that must always be dedicated to Fire/Police services.
I should recieve 80 hours a year training in my technical field to stay current, but have recieved only 120 hours over a total of 20 years,my peers in the same time average 1600 hours of training. My pay is a joke, the respect from my employer is a joke. I am constantly exhorted to work smarter, faster and with less resources, and I have to be right and my projects on time 100 percent of the time or my ass gets chewed royally. I am on call status once every four weeks but recieve no pay or take-home vehicle for my trouble of staying in touch via a fracken' blackberry 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. When I walk out of here in several years, my next job will pay at least 20 percent more, combined with my pension I will be making some awfully good money for the next 5-10 years. That is my goal, and I doubt I will live in the Atlanta area either. The policians treat citizens as resources instead of assests around here. I see no reason to be abused by people who can't even pay their own taxes and loans, but expect me to provide all they ask for.
An employee union would certanly raise salaries, but would also mean cutting back on employees by 10 to 20 percent. Thats fine with me, I see too many employees incompetant or unwilling to work. Of the two, I prefer the unwilling because at least they don't frack things up like the incompetant. DeKalb could loose the 10-20 percent low achieving employees for little or no loss of services to the public.

Anonymous said...

We still have the PBA and they do support us.

Anonymous said...

Stop responding to private property accidents.. Departments in Kansas and Missouri and Illinois no longer do so. I have no problem with responding to alarm calls as long as we start citing them for multiple alarms..
Might i add that the annual spring/summer noise at my apartment pool call is long overdue to be ignored. This is what management and courtesy officers are for. Technically how can i kick people out of their apt complex's pool?? IF they are violating the curfew..its a private violation..nothing to do with the law..or county ordinance.. Residents need to learn that that guy with the take home who u call when they are kickin up noise at the pool.. NOT 911!!!!!!!