Village Board adopts new fee schedule for repeated false alarms

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (September 16, 2019) – “Our hope is that the specter of a raised false alarm fee schedule will compel residents and business locations to stay ahead of maintenance issues for their alarm systems, thereby helping our departments reserve our resources for alarms that genuinely require our response,” read Trustee Jerry Zeldenrust at the August 20, 2019, Committee of the Whole meeting. The letter he was reading had been submitted by Fire Chief Chad Kooyenga and Police Chief Dennis Murrin, requesting some help in diminishing the number of false alarms the fire department and police department both respond to.

The letter acknowledged that false alarms are understandable, but repeated false alarms from the same locations are a strain on department staff, diverting them away from legitimate duties. False alarms might be caused by improperly working alarm systems, intentional activation, or failure to enforce smoking rules. Murrin and Kooyenga hope that increasing fees will motivate residents and business owners to address these issues.

The Lansing Police Department and the Lansing Fire Department will both continue to educate Lansing residents about maintaining their alarm systems, and fines would be assessed only when they are unable to gain compliance from the offenders.

At the September 3 Village Board meeting, Trustees voted to adopt Ordinance 19-028, amending Article XI of Chapter 16 of the Lansing Code related to False Alarms Fees. The previous fee schedule had been:

  • First offense – no fine
  • Second offense – no fine
  • Third–fifth offense – $50 fine
  • Sixth–tenth offense – $100 fine
  • Eleventh and beyond – $250 fine

The new fee schedule is simplified:

  • First offense – no fine
  • Second offense – no fine
  • Third and beyond – $200 fine
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