QUESTION: I received notice that El Centro will "more actively" enforce provisions for collecting fees for excess false alarms beginning in April.
According to El Centro's policy, we'll get one free "false alarm" every three months. We will be charged $32 for each false alarm after that.
If there's nobody around to go to the alarm scene, the city will charge us another $25 for each incident.
It looks like the crooks win. There have been several burglaries in my neighborhood. Guns were stolen. The police know about it.
This is the thanks we get for trying to prevent crime by installing an alarm. What is a false alarm? — Alarmed Home-owner, El Centro
The city defines a false alarm as an alarm bringing an emergency response from police or the Fire Department when no situation requiring an alarm exists.
If the alarm is triggered by violent natural or any extraordinary circumstances that would activate an alarm system in reasonably good working condition, the alarm would not be considered false.
However, if police or firefighters find no evidence of intrusion, fire or other cause for activating the alarm system, the city will conclude there was a false alarm.
An alarm system in good working condition may deter crime, but if your overwrought system ties up emergency personnel, you could be aiding and abetting crooks breaking into homes across town.
QUESTION: Putting the National Guard on duty at the border is the greatest idea yet. It would be a godsend if the National Guard was put on duty for 50 miles from the border. I would welcome them to our drug- and crime-infested rural areas.
Sooner or later we'll have to assign the National Guard along the entire Mexican border to enforce drug and immigration. We have to stop protecting criminals at all costs. We need martial law in Imperial County right now! — Sleepless, East Highline
It's scary out on the East Highline on a moonlit night when you can hear the coyotes howl. Take your Prozac and lie down.
But posting a row of National Guardsmen 50 miles from the border might not be a bad idea. It would keep those Los Angeles rowdies out.