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City Council approves fines for false alarms


The City Council approved last night a bill that will impose fines of up to $1,000 against residents or companies whose electronic burglar alarm systems repeatedly trigger false alarms.

Police respond to more than 100,000 false alarms each year, wasting vital law enforcement time, said City Council President Sheila Dixon.

"Hopefully, this legislation will allow us ... to not have police running from alarm to alarm," Dixon said.

Penalties begin after two false alarms during a 12-month period. A company or resident will be fined $50 for a third false alarm, and penalties escalate for each additional one, up to $1,000.

The law, which now goes to Mayor Martin O'Malley for his signature, does not apply to car alarms.

In other council business yesterday, several bond issues for city projects were introduced before the council. If approved, the bond issues will appear on the November election ballot.

The projects include:

$1.5 million for the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Aquarium officials want to renovate, expand and build an animal care center.

$2 million for the Baltimore Zoo. Zoo officials want to create new animal exhibits, and add gardens and concession areas.

$1.5 million for the Maryland Science Center. Officials want to expand the center by 39,000 square feet and build an Earth Sciences and Dinosaur Hall, and a Health and Human Body exhibit.

All bond issues were approved by the legislature.

In addition, O'Malley asked the council to approve a six-year contract for Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris.

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