Got a letter from the police today

This is a discussion on Got a letter from the police today within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by Guns and more You are missing the point! 1. Why should I pay a tax for something I don't use. 2. If ...

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Thread: Got a letter from the police today

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    You are missing the point!
    1. Why should I pay a tax for something I don't use.
    2. If my alarm never has a false signal, why am I being charged?
    3. Charge by the false alarms, not by taxing everyone.

    It's like the police saying, "We have to arrest crack dealers, so we're charging grandmothers for our time. NO, NO, NO!

    This St. Pete thing is nothing more than a money grab, and I'll bet the money won't go to the police anyway.
    I won't try to address the issues of what the city will actually do with the money. I'll try to give my opinion on what I've numbered.

    1. It would appear obvious that false alarms are a problem. Not only in your city but everywhere. Your city has enacted this ordinance in an effort to deal with the associated costs of those false alarms. They basically have two choices. Raise taxes for everyone or charge those who are causing the problems. If I'm your next door neighbor and I don't have an alarm system, why should I be taxed? If you have an alarm, you will eventually have a false alarm. If I don't have one, there's no chance I'll create a false alarm signal. I've lived in my current home for 32 years and I've never had a fire but my taxes still support the fire department. Should I ask for a refund?

    2. Believe me, if your system has any kind of glass breakage, motion sensor, infrared detection, etc., you will have a false alarm. Kind of like dieing. You may not know when, but you will eventually die. We all do.

    3. If you can accept the fact that you will eventually have a false alarm, it's time to ask yourself which is worse. A $10.00 a year fee because you have an alarm or a $500.00 fee each time you have a false alarm. If they were to say O.K., we'll just charge each false alarm a $500.00 fee, that would be 50 years worth of your $10.00 a year fees for each false alarm. If you get a mouse in your house and end up with 3 false alarms in the month before you catch/kill him, how happy would you be then.

    My state charges me $37.50 a year for a license to carry a concealed handgun. A right that I believe I should be granted by the Constitution but they still charge for it.

    Sorry, but a $10.00 a year fee for each alarm installation seems like a very negligible amount for the time the false alarms keep the police from doing much more important things.

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guns and more View Post
    You are missing the point!
    Why should I pay a tax for something I don't use.
    If my alarm never has a false signal, why am I being charged?
    Charge by the false alarms, not by taxing everyone.

    It's like the police saying, "We have to arrest crack dealers, so we're charging grandmothers for our time. NO, NO, NO!

    This St. Pete thing is nothing more than a money grab, and I'll bet the money won't go to the police anyway.
    Congrats on your 1000th post!

    As Sixto was saying the fees go to administrative costs for the responding agencies. The way our computer aided dispatch system was set up, alarm calls were entered into the system by the permit number. Someone has to collect all the information and enter it into the C.A.D. system. For the fire department side of the response they will note if there are disabled family members, pets, special hazards at the address.

    We allowed ( I think) two false alarms per year before we started fining. After that it was a progressive system starting at $50 and going up to $500 per false alarm. That is not per "incident". That is per call for service from the alarm company.

    I remember one family over a memorial day weekend earned themselves over $15,000 in fines. No keyholders on the account, only the home phone listed for the family. Their system had an AWSOME siren on it. They were very popular with their neighbors too!

    If you didn't register your alarm we would not respond unless it was a panic alarm or ,for a burglar alarm you had to have a keyholder on site. And you would get something like a $250 fine for your unregistered alarm.
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  4. #18
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    "Originally Posted by Guns and more
    You are missing the point!
    Why should I pay a tax for something I don't use."

    Gee, like that doesn't happen all the time to everyone in one way or another.

    No kids? Why should I pay school taxes?

    Never used 911 in my life? Why should I pay the tax that keeps it operating.

    They just repaved my neighbor's street. I never go over there. Why should my tax dollars be used?

    Your city council made a determination on how they will fund the expenses of false alarms. So? Why is that a problem?

    Why the remark about "taxation without representation? You did vote in the last election or you were eligible to vote, no?

    BTW, the fee sounds like a bargain to me. As someone else pointed out it beats a $500 fine for the inevitable false alarm.

  5. #19
    Member Array mcgyver210's Avatar
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    I think of it as just another TAX & nothing more. My city doesn't have a TAX on alarms yet but I can see it coming since the current Mayor decided the tax money was no longer enough & now we pay the same rate we would pay a for profit business for Trash pickup in our Water bill even if we really don't use it.

    Although in our city some do pay for an Alarm sticker because of the confusion of our city that has no Alarm Tax & the Metropolitan Government that has an Alarm Tax.

    In all the 19 years I have had an Alarm I can count on one hand how many times it has been activated & they weren't all False alarms.

    I wonder how many more calls they would go on if there wasn't Alarms? Funny how no one mentions those statistics when Taxing the Alarms. I bet there would be more break ins without alarms just like I bet there would be more crimes committed if the current dictatorship gets its way & removes our Guns.

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    If I had an alarm in St. Pete, I'd cancel the service. First you pay for the monitoring, then you pay because you have monitoring.
    I'd just let the siren wail! If the cops come by, fine, if not the neighbors have a keen eye.

    You pay for police and fire, schools etc.
    Yep. I pay for Police, and I've never called.
    I pay for fire and I've never had a fire.
    I pay for schools, and I pay the same as someone with 10 kids. (I have none)
    I'm paying for a stadium I never buy a ticket to
    I pay for an Aquarium I've been to once.
    I pay for a preforming art center that I've been to twice.

    All these things are good, but I'm not the bottomless pit politicians think I am.
    Where is it written that the city never has to do with less, but I do.

    Enough is enough. NO MORE TAXES.

  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Just let the siren wail? That is still an alarm response call around here, and if there is no permit for the address, a hefty fine, for EACH time one of your neighbors calls police about the alarm, and each time an officer in the area "on-views" your alarm. If your neighbors call 100 times, that is 100 separate fines, unless you can cut some kind of deal with the city prosecutor.

    As indicated in another posted reply, 99% of the burglar alarms called in to my employing PD are false, and the police spend an inordinate amount of time responding to these false alarms. Holdup/panic alarms are less likely to be false, but the percentage of false alarms is still above 90%.

    Some folks have a private security patrol respond to the alarm, rather than the police. Another option, if it exists with your alarm company, would be instructions to ONLY call people on a call list, and NEVER to call the police. Unless betrayed by the alarm company, who will know you have an alarm system? (Be careful; if unable to reach anyone on the call list, some security companies will default to the police dispatcher.)

    For now, we have so many dogs, and an elderly family member and a child in the house, who would probably cause false trips, so we don't have an alarm system. If/When that situation changes, I will have NO problem paying an alarm permit fee. (I live in a different city than where I work, but I assume there will be an alarm permit fee.) Of course, I live in a city with excellent services, including one of the best police response times in the USA, so I am used to paying for quality services.

    At least, an alarm permit fee is a VOLUNTARY fee. What irks me is our county government guaranteeing bonds used to construct a stadium for a professional ball team, and when the financial meltdown occurred, yep, you guessed it, we the taxpayers are on the hook for the bonds. Not the filthy rich team owner, who keeps getting richer, but we, the taxpayers. I have never attended a professional ball game, have never watched this team play on TV, and probably never will. And I'll bet my share of this debt is more than ten bucks a year. OK, rant over.

    Think about the amount for a moment. Ten dollars. Think about the man-hours it takes for a human being to collect your information, then input your name, address, and contact numbers, plus the names and contact numbers of the other people on your call list, who will have to be called when you are in Jamaica, to shut off the alarm. This is before the police ever get involved.

    Know what happens when we respond to an alarm, and there is a burglary, and we can't contact you because your contact information is not on file? We don't board up your door or window; we leave. Yes, we do a short investigative report, but your home becomes just another vacant home with easy access for vagrants and thieves, unless your neighbors are honorable and helpful and take it upon themselves to secure the premises. At least in the city where I work, part of the alarm permit system is keeping the contact information of people who can be called to secure your premises. If you are burglarized, someone to secure your premises is PRICELESS.

    Edited to add: Just to be clear, if we have to leave your burglarized house unsecured, yes, a conscientious patrol officer will try to drive by and spotlight your house, as free time allows. But, I patrol a beat with more economic activity, in dollars, than the entire city of Miami, FL, and tens of thousands of sleeping residents. Several nights a week, and sometimes for an entire work week, I am the ONLY patrol unit in that beat. How much free time do I have?

    (My employing city has six economic zones, each of which exceeds the economic activity of Miami.)

  8. #22
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Alte View Post
    If you only knew how many false alarms with home systems they have to respond to you would probably think differently.

    So, like many places.. if it's a false alarm they send them a bill and fine. Why tax and hit everyone ?

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    So, like many places.. if it's a false alarm they send them a bill and fine. Why tax and hit everyone ?
    Ten dollars a year to keep on file your contact information, and that of other folks who can secure your premises, seems reasonable enough. Read my post above to see what happens if we don't know who to contact.

  10. #24
    Member Array mcgyver210's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexster View Post
    Ten dollars a year to keep on file your contact information, and that of other folks who can secure your premises, seems reasonable enough. Read my post above to see what happens if we don't know who to contact.

    I don't think it is reasonable since every time government wants more money they say it is only a small amount of money but when you add all the small extra taxes up they become a large amount of money.

    As a business owner all my business equipment is taxed every year so when I buy anything it is taxed every year over & over.

    Here is an idea why not have all government employees pay for using uniforms, cars, training etc etc. When used on for profit second jobs seems to me it would be reasonable since they are benefiting from the use.

  11. #25
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Got a letter from the police today
    Well.........................that sure beats a knock on the door in my book!
    If you live in a town or municipality, you'll pretty much have to go along with what the council decides. My opinion, go to the council meetings, or run for mayor.

  12. #26
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Quote: "Here is an idea why not have all government employees pay for using uniforms, cars, training etc etc. When used on for profit second jobs seems to me it would be reasonable since they are benefiting from the use."

    Where do you live? I am working in the wrong place! Quite a few agencies do not allow their personnel to use agency uniforms and equipment when moonlighting. Precious few LEOs get to use an agency vehicle when doing outside work. (None in my area.) As for training, I get my best training from sources that charge me for it. Most of my equipment I use at work, for the public or moonlighting, is is what I purchased. This includes weapons and ammo, and most of what is on my belt, including the belt. (I am actually glad of that; I get to use what I want, within guidelines.) To be sure of quality communications, many of us are buying our own radios, to use on duty. This is a big agency, with thousands of officers, not some small-time PD.

  13. #27
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    In Lancaster, Tx my brother has to pay the city fee for ownership of a active alarm system in his home. My thought was, isnt that why you pay a monitoring company a fee already? Why pay the police too. Then it was explained that it has to do with the multiple false alarms that happen. Funny thing is, seems that the way it was explained, you are basically paying for other peoples carelessness. He has never had a false alarm at his home.

    Maybe its like insurance? We all have to pay more for it, as well as more for hospital expenses due to others having no coverage & being unable to pay for services thus driving up the price on avg citizen. Only In America!!!
    Don't Knock The HU$TLE! When all else fails, I have a HU$TLER's Ambition! When the economy goes to crap, I will maintain and u wont! The hunger I have to survive, and your inability to handle the struggles we have ahead is what seperates you & I!

  14. #28
    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    And the police spend an inordinate amount of time responding to these false alarms.
    I'll bet the police spend an inordinate amount of time in the "hood" too. Are you charging them per arrest?
    When I see ten cops setting up a speed trap in my neighborhood, I think, "Why can't they drive through my neighborhood? I only see them when there is a speed trap."

    you'll pretty much have to go along with what the council decides. My opinion, go to the council meetings, or run for mayor.
    Or kick the bums out.
    It's time the decent people of this country took it back!

    Ten dollars a year to keep on file your contact information, and that of other folks who can secure your premises, seems reasonable enough
    Next year it will be $100.

  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    Well, for the OP, contact your city council person, and see about having the ordinance amended to make it possible to opt-out. Taxation without representation is indeed tyrrany, but you probably do have representation, at some level, where you live.

  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunGeezer View Post
    I received a letter in this mornings mail from the St. Petersburg police dept. stating that the City Council passed a resolution requiring residents who have alarm systems to pay a $15.00 start-up fee and a $10.00 annual fee or face large penalties for not reporting active alarm systems.

    I can see assessing some sort of fine for nuisance false alarms, but one would think responding to a real alarm in progress would make the job of the police easier than after the fact. Also, the last time I looked, I was paying a pretty hefty tax for police protection with or without an alarm system.

    There was no explanation for the rationale for the new fee. It doesn't even sound as if it is legal and not discriminatory, not to mention taxation without representation.

    I'm going to look into hiring Blackwater to protect my property as it might be cheaper than the new tax on a tax. What a country?
    Florida, California and a couple other states are economic basket cases. This is just another creative way to increase revenue without out rightly calling it a tax.
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