The Town Board is considering a new law that would impose fines for property owners whose security systems generate frequent false alarms.
The board will hold a public hearing at 8:15 p.m. Monday in Town Hall, 21 Central Ave., on the regulations proposed by Police Chief Gerald J. Gill Jr.
These are alarm calls generated by a property’s security system, not by a call to 911. The system sends a signal to the monitoring alarm company, which notifies the Lancaster Police Department.
Some alarms require the response of a volunteer fire company, or both police and firefighters, Gill said.
The police send two patrol cars to respond to each alarm, Gill said, because the assumption is the officers are responding to an intruder or a burglary in progress. But the vast majority of these calls turn out to be “avoidable” alarms.
For example, the department responded to 1,002 such alarm calls between Nov. 1, 2011, and Nov. 1, 2012, and only three even offered any indication that the alarm was warranted, Gill said. In no case was a burglar caught.
Most are likely cases of someone – a homeowner or a relative – mistakenly entering the wrong code into the alarm system at the home, Gill said.
The police chief said he wants to limit these avoidable alarms because he doesn’t want anyone hurt in an accident as police rush to the scene, and he doesn’t want his officers lulled into a false sense of complacency as they repeatedly respond to avoidable alarms at the same address.
Under the proposed regulations, property owners still would receive a warning for their first three false alarms that required a police response. They would be fined $50 each for the fourth and fifth false alarm, and $100 per false alarm beginning with the sixth false alarm.
Avoidable calls that prompt a fire company response would receive a warning for the first call, a $50 fine for each of the second, third, fourth and fifth calls and a $100 fine beginning with the sixth call.
Lancaster would join numerous other communities that have put similar laws in place, including Orchard Park, Amherst and Cheektowaga.
The proposed law applies to the town outside the villages of Lancaster and Depew.
The 8 p.m. Town Board meeting is preceded by a work session at 7 p.m. and a joint meeting of the Town Board and Town Planning Board, at 6:30 p.m., to review the environmental impact of an Orville’s Home Appliances store planned for the corner of Transit Road and William Street.
Also this week:
•The Village Board holds its organizational meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the Municipal Building, 5423 Broadway.
Political newcomer Russell W. Sugg joins the board after finishing first among four candidates seeking two four-year trustee seats in the March 19 election. Sugg, 49, a real-property analyst for the state, received 500 votes, while incumbent William C. Schroeder received 489 votes in winning re-election.
Trustee Edward M. Marki is off the board after earning 481 votes, and Jennie E. Smith, formerly the village’s special events coordinator, finished fourth with 431 votes.
Marki requested a recanvass of the vote by the Erie County Board of Elections, but the review conducted last Tuesday didn’t change the results except to add one vote to Schroeder’s total.
Mayor Paul M. Maute and Trustee Dawn M. Robinson, who ran for the last two years of her appointed term, also will be sworn in Monday after winning uncontested re-election campaigns.
•The Town Planning Board meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall.
•The Village Board meets at 8 a.m. Saturday in the Municipal Building for a work session prior to its April 8 meeting.