How about billing UD for riots? False alarms are not the big problem.

The day after the second riots in the UD Ghetto, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl is in the paper complaining about the costs of responding to false alarms- even though the numbers have been declining for 6 straight years:

Dayton police responded to more than 4,600 false burglar alarms last year, which police officials say wasted law enforcement resources and taxpayer dollars.

Chief Biehl this week briefed the city commission on proposals that could reduce false alarms, including requiring security alarm companies to take additional measures to verify whether an alarm activation is legitimate before contacting police to respond.

via Dayton police want to reduce false alarm calls |

Of course, the idea that citizens like it when police actually come when someone calls isn’t something on his radar yet- since we no longer dispatch officers after many thefts, instead having you report it by phone. Communities really like to see police on their streets, writing tickets, doing day to day police duties in a highly visible way. Oakwood and Kettering don’t have speeding in their cities- and haven’t had to rely on speed cameras to do their work, because they actually do traffic enforcement. Dayton could learn a lesson.

I’ve written about the insanity of charging citizens for false alarms before – what I think would be a better system is to charge criminals for repeated calls- read about my neighbors:

Instead of fining taxpaying citizens for false alarms, why aren’t we fining our criminal element for abuse of services? If we calculate the cost of a police call to a residence at a nominal $120 (2 officers, 1 hour each, $60 an hour) their 33 calls come out to $3,960. The costs could be levied against the property tax bill and either the house gets shut down until fines are paid, or the property gets seized as a nuisance and sold to pay the fines.

via Revenue enhancement strategy for Dayton Police Department.

But the main reason I bring this back up, is that the same day that Biehl is whining about responding to false alarms, he’s not making a peep about the costs UD is sticking DPD and a bunch of other police departments with the costs of responding to student riots:

In the parking lot near the RecPlex, local law enforcement gathered for another round of UD students’ post-game celebrations. They have become a ritual following the team’s three previous NCAA games and leading to arrests and some vandalism. But police were ready if fans got too excited. In addition to university police, there were 28 Dayton police officers, 33 State Highway Patrol officers and SWAT teams from Kettering and Dayton who patrolled campus streets.

via Despite loss and rain, students and fans still cheer on Flyers |

I’m guessing each SWAT deployment is approximately 24 people, on top of the others- so we’re talking about 110 plus officers for at least 4 hours each- for each of three riots- 440 hours each, times 3 is 1,320 hours.

Compare that to:

Despite the downward trend, Dayton police wasted so much time responding to false alarms last year that it equated to devoting two full-time officers to the activity, Biehl said. Two officers are required to respond to every alarm call, in case a crime is underway. via Dayton police want to reduce false alarm calls |

Wow, considering there were 150 actual break-ins, I’d say having the equivalent of 2 officers out of 350 full time on alarm responses is really not too bad.

I know that when my office was broken into, I first told the alarm company NOT to dispatch, as I got out of bed and walked across the street, only to see that my office door had been kicked in and that I was already too late to catch the thieves in action. I was lucky, because when the responding officers caught the crew that had my stuff- one of them had a gun.

No, Chief Biehl, slowing down the process to respond to alarms is a move in the wrong direction. You should be working to respond more quickly to alarm calls, to make criminals know that Dayton takes property crimes seriously, and that criminals who steal are persona non grata in our city. If anything, you should be working with alarm companies and video monitored businesses to be able to tie in to their systems in real time, to improve arrest rates.

And, when it comes to rowdy UD students- bill the school. They need to suffer the same way alarm owners do if they get too many calls.


Bulk waste fees, false alarm fees- why not a police and fire fee?

In cost-cutting moves the city started rationing bulk waste pickups years ago. To cut down on false burglar alarm calls- a progressive fine was put in place for too many false calls.

It’s time to start dealing with bad actors in the community by charging fees to the property for number of police calls.

That’s right- the police can come to your house because of a complaint no more than 4 times in a 12-month period. You want to fight with your wife/kids/neighbors-after the fourth call, it’s $100, the sixth call is $250, the seventh is $500, the eighth is $1,000. Same goes for calls for paramedics- plus we bill your insurance. What, you don’t have insurance?- after the fourth call- it’s $100 etc.

Failure to pay the fines, the house is ordered to be vacated for a year. Landlords will stop renting to trash. And if you are more than 1 year delinquent on your taxes, everything is doubled. If the fines escalate  above and beyond the tax value- the house is seized.

We’ve got neighbors who would have been long gone a year and a half ago if this had been in place.

Why should one family place such high demands on our public safety officers? How many of these problem houses can we afford to support? As long as it’s ok to charge law-abiding taxpayers for false burglar alarms- it should be ok to charge the burglars.

Other communities wouldn’t put up with this kind of hooliganism- they’d find other ways to make life unbearable for the residents, Dayton hasn’t caught on yet- leaving us as a dumping ground for miscreants and losers.

But, as a preventive measure- we should also use the frequency of calls to a location as a trigger to dispatch a social worker/intervention specialist to try to solve the problems- before they get to the point of fines. Right now we’re purely reactive and paying the price.

Any other suggestions? Feel free to contribute.