Business & Homeowners Need to Get With The SHARP Program and Avoid Fines
Gazette readers in: Belleair Bluffs, Belleair Shore, Belleair Beach, Dunedin, and Indian Rocks Beach need to register their alarm systems to comply with false alarm ordinance if they haven't already. Starting July 1, 2009, the Pinellas County Sheriff's office will begin enforcing the false alarm ordinance approved by the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners earlier this year.
The ordinance covers the unincorporated area of Pinellas County and the 12 cities currently under contract with the Sheriff's Office for law enforcement services.
Under the ordinance, home and business owners "shall" register their alarm systems with the Sheriff's Office. The new "SHARP" or Sheriff's Alarm Registration Program was created to manage this initiative.
There is no fee to register a home or business alarm system.
Alarm subscribers can register online on the Pinellas County Sheriff's website, www.pcsoweb.com, click on the "SHARP" icon. Registration forms have also been distributed to the Sheriff's Administration Building on Ulmerton Rd., the Sheriff's North District Station in Dunedin, the city halls of the 12 listed contract cities, and the Pinellas County Courthouse in downtown Clearwater.
Alarm subscribers registered with SHARP receive two free passes if they experience two false alarms during the year. After the two free passes, they are subject to a fine schedule ranging from $75 per false alarm up to $500 per false alarm.
Subscribers who do not register with SHARP do not receive any free passes for false alarms and are subject to a much steeper fine schedule, ranging from $175 per alarm up to $600 per alarm.
Home and business owners who experience false alarms between now and the July 1, 2009 enforcement date will receive registration notices from responding deputy sheriffs.
According to Sheriff Jim Coats, the purpose of the false alarm ordinance is to reduce the number of false alarms in the Sheriff's jurisdiction. "Well over 90% of the alarms we investigate are false alarms", he says.
The Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit will manage "SHARP". For more information, call Sgt. Larry Nalven at (727) 582-2870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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