Fine surprises homeowner after outage sets off unregistered burglar alarm
A Ridge homeowner is upset after receiving a fine by the Suffolk County Police Department when his burglar alarm went off during a power outage in April.
Daniel Asciolla was fined $150 because he didn’t have an alarm permit. Asciolla was unaware there is law requiring he have a permit for his alarm system.
"Where's the serve and protect here?" asks Asciolla. "I said, 'I don't pay enough taxes?'"
Asciolla says he's not the only homeowner who didn't know they need a permit for their alarms.
"Since this started, I've spoken to 15-20 people that I know have alarm systems in their house and they've never heard of it," he says.
Suffolk County's alarm permit program has been active for almost two years. Police say it was designed to get homeowners and businesses that have chronic false alarm calls to fix their systems. And they say it's working, freeing up officers for other crime prevention.
"False alarms have been reduced by over 41,000 false alarms," says Suffolk Police Chief Stuart Cameron.
Suffolk police say they mailed out flyers to residents alerting them to the alarm program, which has a $50 fee. County Legislator Rob Trotta says the fees and bills are an unfair way for the county to raise money, even though the program has reduced some false alarm calls.
“If it’s a chronic alarm, you should be charged,” says Trotta. “But the guy whose alarm goes off once or twice a year or didn’t register because he got this cheesy thing in the mail? That guy should not be fined $150. Plain and simple, it’s wrong.”
Asciolla, whose home has been burglarized twice, says he now has a permit for his alarm system but he still wants to appeal the fine. He wants other homeowners to know they need one so they can avoid what he's gone through.
for more info on the Suffolk alarm registration program.