I have been giving annual updates in recent years on the reduction in false burglar alarms in Lincoln. I neglected to do so in January, but I am catching up now. False alarms fell to 2,383 in 2012. We can now say for the first time that the number of false burglar alarms has been slashed in half (and then some) from the high-water mark in 2002.
There is still a little room for improvement. Although the number of chronic repeat addresses has fallen even further (242 in 2002 to 45 last year), there are still a handful of places that rack up impressive records of repeat false alarms. One local restaurant, for example, had 35 false alarms in 2012, and paid $6,000 in fees. That's a lot of onion rings.
Beginning this year, we are including false fire alarms in the ordinance. A false fire alarm is an even riskier proposition than a false burglary alarm, and consumes even more resources. It is a bit too soon to evaluate this, however, since it has only been in effect for a few months, and since the number of alarms is smaller. You can bet that I will be watching the data, though.