Alarming news: Chico police won't respond to all alarms


CHICO, Calif. - Starting Sunday the Chico Police Department will no longer respond to alarms unless they have confirmation that a crime has taken place.

The Police Department said it received more than 3,000 false alarms in 2012, which is why it must now have evidence that a security breach has occurred before they send a team of officers.

"That's not productive police time," said Lieutenant Mike O'Brien on responding to so many false alarms. "We can't afford to do that anymore."

But Leo Weiss, who owns Eagle Security Alarm Systems in Chico wrote to the city council that the 3,000 number of false alarms used by Chico police was grossly inaccurate.

"Unfortunately, the City of Chico has no software to track those alarms [which is] why they used the 2012 statistics," Weiss said.

Weiss, who has been in the security business for 35 years, suggests that alarm companies be fined for each false alarm. He said it's easier for the city to fine the two dozen or so alarm companies than the thousands of homeowners and businesses in Chico.

"The alarm companies choose the equipment. They train the technicians and service department.," Weiss said. "And they have the ability to track the false alarms."

Weiss also believes Chico police's new policy on alarms is partially designed to stir up public support for more police officers.

"I know they need more money," said Weiss. "I know they need more staff. I think it was their method of getting their message out there."

Chico Police strongly denied the suggestion but said it does not not have enough officers to respond to so many alarms.