Renton police consider $250 fines for false alarms

RENTON, Wash. — Renton police say they're wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money by responding to false alarms.

 KIRO 7 Reporter Michael Spears breaks down what the department wants to do to cut down on false alarms, live on air until 7 a.m.

The department is now asking the city to OK a $250 fine to cut down on false alarms, save money and time for officers.

Renton police say they respond to around 3,500 alarm calls every year and each call costs the city about $100 and requires a minimum of two officers.

Police say about 98 percent of those calls are false alarms.

So, most of the roughly $300,000 spent responding to alarm calls every year in Renton is wasted taxpayer money.

Under the new proposal, officers will still respond to the calls to determine if they're real and businesses and homeowners won’t be automatically fined.

Currently, police say they can fine people for false alarms but the city ordinance is too lenient and its program fell apart a few years ago.

If approved, people would have to pay $25 to register all alarms that trigger a police response with the city and could appeal fines.

The city council will discuss the issue again next week and may vote on it then.