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Suffolk County False Burglar Alarm Fines Too High, Legislator Says

SHIRLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- False burglar alarms have been a problem in Suffolk County, but they have been down by double digits since a law was enacted last December.

But as WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported, one lawmaker wants to change the law and believes it is excessive.

In July, false burglar alarms were down 35 percent compared with one year ago – leaving police officers fighting crimes on the streets and not responding to a false call.

Right now, fines after three false alarms could be $500. Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) said the fines are excessive and wants them reduced.

"If you're a responsible alarm owner, you're not going to let that happen and you're not going to want to pay those fines," Browning said. "So you are going to do something to fix your alarm system."

Under Browning's bill, the fines would be imposed after four false alarms, and the maximum fine would be $150 for a homeowner and $250 for a business owner.

People and businesses would still have to register their alarms with the county, but those fees would also be cut.

A Suffolk County police representative said the department is against the bill, because it alters key elements in the program that have been proven successful in lowering false alarms.

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