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False alarms on the rise in Rexburg

Alarm systems are causing problems for the Rexburg police. Only 15 calls out of 3,315 made within the past nine years have been valid alarm break-ins.

“Whether it’s the quality of the alarms or the maintenance of the alarms, I don’t know. But they’ve been going off and they shouldn’t be,” said Cpt. Randy Lewis, of the Rexburg Police Department.

Alarm systems in businesses across Rexburg have been reporting more false alarms than actual break-ins. And it seems as though owners expect this to occur.

“We have had owners and managers that have refused to come down and check the businesses. They have actually told the officers for them to go and walk through the business and check it,” said Lewis.

This creates an unsafe environment for police officers, especially if an employee is in the building. This can cause officers to resort to self-defense mode. And this is why the Rexburg City Council is proposing an ordinance that would create more cooperation between businesses and police.

Businesses will have to register their alarm systems to the city of Rexburg. If the business experiences a false alarm, a $25 fee will be inflicted upon the business. The second false alarm will be a $50 fee. And if there are more than three false alarms reported, police will no longer respond to the calls unless the business documents that the alarm has been fixed.

Stricter rules would reduce false alarm calls, and also give police officers more time to attend to emergency calls. And the Rexburg City Council seems to be in favor of passing the ordinance.

“I think it’s wise to sit down with the chief of police and the officers involved and work together to find a solution,” said Bruce Southerland, one of the City Council members.

And on Sept. 19th, the ordinance is expected to be voted on by the Rexburg City Council.

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