Sound the warning
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FOR a while in 2002 and 2003, burglar alarms were the hot topic of discussion for the Los Angeles Police Commission and the City Council. After discovering that the city wasted huge amounts of scarce police resources responding to personal burglar alarms set off by the wind, by household pets or for no apparent reason, officials declared their intent to stop answering unverified burglar alarm calls. After months of debate over what that might mean, the city came up with an alternate plan to issue permits and levy fines for false burglar alarms to discourage them. Yet, after all the hand-wringing, all the debate, the city is failing to collect those fees. An audit found as much as $7.7 million remains uncollected. So much for cracking down on rampant false alarms. The city must consider contracting with a private firm to collect this money. The city needs every penny it can get to fight real crime. And most of all it needs to start fulfilling its commitments – or hold accountable those who fail.