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Los Angeles police officers respond to false alarm calls


LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council agreed today to boost the amount that  Los Angeles residents are billed when police officers respond to a false alarm call.

The ordinance, which still needs to be signed by the mayor, would up the city’s False Alarm Fee to $149 from the current $136.

The increase was planned months ago, when the council was crafting the budget for this fiscal year and looking for ways to shrink the deficit.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn, however, expressed reservations, saying it “sends a bad message in these tough times that we’re raising the fees.”

“Nobody wants a false alarm purposely,” she said. “They’re really just trying to protect themselves and their families.”

But the Police Commission’s executive director, Richard Tefank, said a higher fee is necessary to offset the cost of responding to a false alarm.

“Last year, there were about 47,000 false alarms in the city of Los Angeles ….,” Tefank said. “The police resources that responded to that, we’re attempting to recover.”

The council also approved changes to various Police Permit and Animal Services fees.

Some of the rates went up, while others went down. Officials said the increases were aimed at recovering the city’s costs in administering the specific services associated with those fees.