Spring Hill Police Seek Solutions to False Alarms

The Spring Hill Police Department is pursuing a new policy of tackling false alarms, which city staff say is a problem in the city.

As the mayor’s and aldermen’s council convened for its first meeting of the new year, Spring Hill Police Department chief Don Brite presented data regarding the town’s alarm permits and said that the municipal code should be updated.

In 2019, the emergency dispatch of SHPD was consolidated with Williamson County. Prior to the merger, dispatch operated from SHPD’s head office, which included issuing alarm permits.

Since the 2019 transfer, Brite has said the situation is somewhat ‘out of control’.

“Once we moved to Williamson County it kind of split up where upstairs they do the registrations, we take the permits and we register them ourselves,” said Brite.

Brite added that as the city grew with increasing enrollment, the department was lagging behind.

For the period January 1 to November 15, 2021, the city received a total of 496 permits. In addition, out of 1,010 permits across the city, 814 had expired.

During this period, SHPD had 848 alarm calls, resulting in 471 response calls, with only 79 legitimate active permits.

The Spring Hill Police Department is looking for candidates to hire new full-time officers, with wages starting at $ 19.31 an hour, with opportunities for retirement, life insurance, medical care, care vision and dental.

“Obviously we have a situation here where we aren’t handling our alarms as well as we should be,” Brite said.

To resolve the issue, Brite offered to hire an outside company to manage its alarm permits.

“This will take staff out of the equation, where they can manage it from A to Z,” Brite said.

By hiring a third-party management company, the city would receive 70% of the revenue, of which 30% will go to the company, as well as no additional cost to the city for hiring the said company, Brite said. The goal would be to bring businesses and residents into compliance with the city’s municipal code and reduce the number of false calls.

City administrator Pam Caskie said studies have shown false alarms have been detrimental to duty officers, not only in terms of wasted time, but also for their health and well-being. As a person “resolute” in dealing with false alarms, Caskie considers these tasks “difficult enough as they are”.

“The main reason for avoiding false calls is the health of the people who answer,” said Caskie.

“There is a lot of evidence that one of the reasons police and firefighters have heart problems higher than the national average is that the chemicals in their bodies start to pump when they receive a call and they then have nothing to do. is very dangerous to their health. They had better get out and fight a fire than get into a truck thinking they are going to fight a fire, only to find that there is no nothing.

It is also something that people do not take into consideration when it comes to managing their personal alarm systems.

“They don’t think it’s a big deal, that it’s only one call a month, but the moment you multiply it by every alarm, every alarm company and business in town, it becomes a real one. wear and tear for our staff, ”says Caskie.

Another suggestion Brite added would be to change the city’s municipal code, which currently issues court citations of $ 50 on every seventh false alarm, reducing the number to three or maybe four.