The cities of Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Dunwoody are rolling out registration programs as part of recently adopted false alarm ordinances.

Atlanta officials sent a press release on July 29 reminding people to register their alarms as part of the new ordinance, which takes effect Sept. 15. At a recent Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting, Deputy Chief Operating Officer Hans Utz said the north Atlanta community generates many of the city’s false alarm reports.

There is a $150 fee for Atlanta residents that fail to register. The deadline for Atlanta is Feb. 1, 2014.

Sandy Springs and Dunwoody will soon make formal announcements about alarm registration, Sandy Springs spokeswoman Sharon Kraun said.

All three cities are using CryWolf false alarm reduction software. It wasn’t immediately clear why all three cities updated their false alarm ordinances within the past year. Sandy Springs updated its ordinance in November 2012, Dunwoody updated its ordinance in February and Atlanta updated its ordinance in May.

Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said the concern about false alarms isn’t new.

“The Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Johns Creek ordinances have not gone into effect yet,” Grogan said.  “I do believe they will make a significant impact on our false alarm calls and I believe we will see a reduction in these types of calls.  The issue of false alarms has not suddenly become a concern.  It has been a concern for some time.  However, it takes time to enact an ordinance such as this.”

Reporter newspapers will post more information about the Dunwoody and Sandy Springs ordinances as the registration programs are announced. Here is the full press release from the city of Atlanta.

 ATLANTA-   City of Atlanta residents and businesses are now required to register their security and burglar alarm systems.  In 2012, the Atlanta Police Department responded to 65,000 alarm system activations, 95% of which were false alarms or alarms that were cancelled in route. These calls represent more than six percent of total 911 dispatches.  With every call taking an average of 20-30 minutes, the equivalent of 8-12 full-time police officers were dedicated to responding to false alarms, thereby taking away valuable public safety resources from more pressing matters.

In an effort to improve public safety and better allocate resources, the City has enacted a series of amendments to the existing False Alarm Ordinance. The new ordinance will take effect on September 15, 2013 and residents will have until February 1, 2014 to register without incurring an unregistered alarm penalty. Residents can register their alarm system for free online at or by calling 1-855-725-7102.  There is a $150 fine for not registering an alarm.  If an alarm is activated and it turns out to be false there is no fine, just a warning.  The 2nd false alarm will result in a $50 fine to the homeowner.  Fines will escalate for each false call thereafter.

“Our police officers take every alarm call seriously.  In many cases, however, the call ends up being nothing more than a false alarm caused by accident or human error,” said Chief George Turner.  “This new program will allow our officers to spend more time responding to true emergencies.”

The City of Atlanta’s False Alarm Program will be coordinated by CryWolf alarm monitoring service and software, designed and developed by Public Safety Corporation.  CryWolf is a comprehensive false alarm tracking and billing system and has helped agencies across the country and in the Atlanta region reduce false alarms, increase collections, and improve administrative efficiency. The issuance of citations will be determined solely by the Atlanta Police Department.

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011-2014. He is the founder and editor of