JSO: Home, business owners with security systems must register alarms

Sheriff announces new program aimed at reducing city's 98% false alarm rate

City Councilman Tommy Hazouri and Sheriff Mike Williams announce changes in burglar alarm registration.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Anyone in Jacksonville with a home or business security system is required to register their alarm by Aug. 31, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Monday.

The requirement, which is part of a new program aimed at reducing Jacksonville's 98 percent false alarm rate, will ensure JSO has the latest contact information for residents and business owners.

Sheriff Mike Williams said research showed JSO had an antiquated system and it needed to be more efficient. It could not connect customers who moved, changed numbers or discontinued service.

Of the 186,000 alarm registrations in the system, JSO could not tell what contact information was current and what was not.

Williams said between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, there were 47,461 dispatches to alarms -- representing 38,000 hours of police service, or the equivalent of 18 full-time police officers responding to those calls.

In more than 98 percent of those calls, Williams said, the alarm was false.

"Obviously, this is a huge inefficiency for us, a waste of time and resources here in Duval County, especially with the manpower situation being what it is for us," Williams said.

The deadline for current residential and business owners to register their system(s) is Aug. 31. Existing or new alarm owners can click here to pay the $13 online registration fee. The mail-in registration fee is $10.

If the registration is not completed by Aug. 31, JSO said, the registration fee will increase to $20.

"Eventually all existing alarms will have to be registered and renewed in this system. So we need everyone to register again," Williams said.

The sheriff said the goal is to free up some of the 38,000 hours of police service that was wasted on responding to false alarms.

Anyone with questions about Jacksonville's Alarm Program can call 1-877-883-0677.