Another tweak to Sandy Springs’ false alarm ordinance and its verification requirement is on its City Council’s May 21 agenda. The possible change comes a month before a controversial verification requirement is set to take effect.

The city’s alarm ordinance shifted fines for repeated false alarms to the security companies who service the alarm systems, rather than residents and business owners who use them. Requiring alarm verification, which goes into effect June 19, requires alarm companies to provide direct confirmation that a burglar alarm call is a real crime – with audio or video devices or in person – before calling 911.

How alarm companies and residents using self-monitoring equipment would submit evidence and how the city would review has been one of the questions asked by people concerned about the ordinance.

The city says the ordinance is needed because the vast majority of alarms are false, tying up police officers and costing money.

The ordinance has been tweaked several times since passing in 2017, including adding the verification requirement in 2018 and later that year adding new requirements for alarm companies to alert customers if they are on a no-response list.

The change scheduled to be voted on May 21 would require “that alarm companies submit audio or video evidence of an attempted or actual crime or other emergency situation no more than twenty-four (24) hours after the request for and dispatch of emergency services in response to an intrusion alarm,” according to the item description on the meeting agenda.

It’s unclear exactly what this action would change, and a full ordinance has not been posted online yet.

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