|In Seattle, 98 percent of alarm calls are bogus|
This is yet another way those without alarm systems subsidize the people who do.
This transfers tax money from the many to the few.
For great background on this topic check out award-winning, investigative reporter David Cay Johnston's terrific book called "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You With the Bill)."
Home alarm systems are generally for the rich and the paranoid, which are sometimes one and the same.
Alarm systems for retail businesses make sense since these stores are usually vacant overnight and have lots of stuff worth stealing.
But, one of the reasons why people move to a place like Bend is that, compared to a big city, there is little crime here.
The extra expense of a home alarm system really isn't needed in Bend unless the house is vacant much of the year or is in foreclosure, which is a common occurrence these days.
The alarm companies, like ADT, make a killing on home alarm systems because they provide no security at all, but transfer it to the local government police agency. They just collect the monthly fee but saddle the local cops with the bill.
Throughout the country, like in Seattle, millions are wasted every year on false burglar alarm calls. In fact, almost all burglar alarm calls are false.
Not only that, but time and manpower wasted on false alarms means that real crimes are not being solved. A classic lose-lose proposition for the taxpayer, but a win-win for big alarm companies like ADT.
The real solution to the problem of false alarms is to make the alarm companies, instead of local police, respond to the alarm calls. Let the alarm companies pay for a local private police force to manage all these false alarms. Or bill the alarm companies for false alarms.
Otherwise, the fines on home or businesses for false alarms should escalate proportionally to offset the cost to taxpayers.
And, if that doesn't work, assess each business or home that has an alarm system with an annual fee to offset the cost to the taxpayer.
Let's stop subsidizing corporations like ADT who make millions off the taxpayer while providing no service at all.