False Alarm Reduction in Columbus GA

 

Acom customers in the Columbus, GA market may receive notifications from the City regarding recently enacted ordinances affecting your alarm system. According to the City’s mandate, new alarms and previously unregistered alarms must now submit information about the protected property and pay a registration fee through a City-designated vendor. Residents generating false alarms on a frequent basis will be subject to fines assessed by the City.

As a valued partner with the Columbus Consolidated Government, Acom is constantly working to streamline this process for our customers.

As a reminder, all Acom customers have the unique advantage of working with an in-house award-winning central station. We do not charge to add or update emergency contacts or customize how your alarm response is handled. We also have numerous solutions available for self video verification which can reduce false alarms and provide a more secure level of protection. 

All alarm system owners are now required by the City to register through this system. This may include Columbus residents that had previously obtained a permit under the City’s prior program.  Customers that are unsure as to their alarm’s registration should proactively contact the City’s designated administrator.  Click below to access the Consolidated Government’s official alarm registration and false alarm reduction page.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (Provided by the Consolidated Government)

Why was an alarm ordinance adopted?

To encourage the proper and effective use of alarm systems by setting forth regulations governing alarm systems within the City of Columbus; as well as reduce the number of false alarms requiring a law enforcement response. This will increase officer safety, ensure proper attention and response to actual crimes in progress, and increase available preventive patrol and increase patrol enforcement time, thereby furthering the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Columbus.

 

What constitutes a false alarm?

The City of Columbus Alarm Ordinance defines a false alarm as: “the activation of an alarm system to summon public safety which occurs as a result of mechanical or electronic failure, malfunction, improper installation, or the negligence of the alarm user or his employees or agents, unless the public safety response was cancelled by the alarm user or his agent before public safety personnel arrived at the alarm location. An alarm is false when, upon determination by the responding officer, no unauthorized entry, robbery, or other crime was committed or attempted in or on the premises, or when medical emergency or fire exists which would have activated a properly functioning alarm system.”

 

Who is required to register their alarm?

Everyone operating an active alarm system (monitored or non-monitored) inside the City of Columbus limits is required to register their alarm systems. Fire alarms, life alert systems, and medical alarms are included in the registration requirements.

 

How do I register my alarm system?

Please complete the online registration form at https://www.crywolfservices.com/columbusga or mail in a completed registration form to the Columbus False Alarm Reduction Program (FARP). You may also register by phone at (833) 281-8741, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Registration will not be considered complete until the required registration fee has been paid.

 

What is the cost of an alarm permit registration?

The registration cost of an alarm permit is $35.00. This is a one-time registration fee. Alarm users may be assessed civil penalties for each alarm call received by the police and/or fire department while having an account that is unregistered with the program.

 

What are the fines associated with police false alarm activations?

First False Alarm                                         None

Second False Alarm                                     $50

Third through Fourth False Alarm          $100

Fifth False Alarm                                         $125

Sixth False Alarm                                        $150

Seventh False Alarm                                   $200

Eighth False Alarm                                     $250

Ninth False Alarm                                       $300

Tenth and Over False Alarm                     $400

 

What are the fines associated with fire and medical false alarms?

First False Alarm                                        None

Second False Alarm                                   $50

Third through Fourth False Alarm         $100

Fifth False Alarm                                        $125

Sixth False Alarm                                       $150

Seventh False Alarm                                  $200

Eighth False Alarm                                    $250

Ninth False Alarm                                      $300

Tenth and Over False Alarm                    $400

 

If I am assessed a fine/fee, can I pay online?

Yes, you can pay online at this website: https://www.crywolfservices.com/columbusga. You will need to use your account number in combination with an invoice number and/or password. All payments are processed through a secured online payment system.

 

If I choose to pay my fine/fee by check, where do I send it?

Yes, you are able to send your payment to the following address:

Columbus False Alarm Reduction Program PO Box 931713

Atlanta, GA 31193-1713

 

Why is the address to send payment different from the City address?

The City has procured and authorized an outsourced company called CentralSquare Technologies to process permit registrations, invoices, and payments. All payments made via mail are transferred to a protected bank lockbox account.

 

If I disagree with an assessed fee, can I appeal?

The alarm user may appeal the assessment of fees to the Alarm Administrator by setting forth in writing the reasons for the appeal within ten (10) days of the notification sent date. The Alarm User waives their right to appeal assessments of fees and/or fines if these steps are not completed within the allotted amount of time. Appeals may be submitted on the website at https://www.crywolfservices.com/columbusga, emailed to columbusga@alarm-billing.com or mailed to:

Columbus False Alarm Reduction Program PO Box 931713

Atlanta, GA 31193-1713

 

Be sure to include the following in your appeal:

  • Your name
  • Your email address (if applicable)
  • The alarm location
  • Date of the false alarm
  • Your permit number
  • Reasons for the appeal
  • Any supporting evidence

The alarm user will be notified of the appeal decision in writing. If the appeal request is denied, payment shall be due immediately after the date of mailing of the decision. If payment is not made, the account may be suspended from law enforcement response.

 

I disagree with the Alarm Administrator or his/her designee’s appeal finding, can I appeal that decision?

The alarm user may appeal the decision of the Alarm Administrator to by setting forth in writing the reasons for the appeal to the Chief of Police within ten (10) days after the first appeal decision has been made. The decision of the Chief of Police is final.

 

Can law enforcement response be suspended to my location?

Law enforcement response to your location can be suspended due to excessive false alarms and non-payment. An account will be placed on No Response if they have ten (10) or more false alarms in a calendar year and/or if an invoice remains unpaid for sixty (60) days or more.

 

Police Department personnel will not be dispatched on a “Suspended” account unless the alarm user verifies that a burglary is taking or took place. Reinstatement of an account must be requested by the alarm user in writing only and requests full payment of the balance due.

 

Is there a returned check fee?

Yes, the returned check fee is $30 per check.

 

I received duplicate alarm invoices at my address; what can I do?

If you received a duplicate alarm invoice, please contact us at (833) 281-8741, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., so we can delete the incorrect invoice(s). You may also contact us by email at: columbusga@alarm-billing.com

 

Who can I contact if I have additional questions or comments?

You may call the Columbus False Alarm Reduction Program at (833) 281-8741, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email us at columbusga@alarm-billing.com. For any customer whose primary language is not English, we offer a translator service for your convenience.

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