False alarm issues are high on the list of priorities for Robert Serrano, a 10th-district Los Angeles City Council candidate running in a special election Nov. 10. Under Los Angeles' revised alarm ordinance, a first false alarm for permitted alarm users results in a $115 fine and escalates in $50 increments for subsequent false alarms.

"The false alarm ordinance would have to be revised - throw the whole thing out," Serrano suggested. He recommended voice or video verification of alarms as a way to reduce false alarms.

"With the Internet now, you should be able to transfer images to the 911 center," he maintained. "If there's an alarm, they can decide whether it's a false alarm or not. I'd like to create a steering committee where we can make it easier and alarms could be verified."

He also suggested having central station operators verify alarms through voice or video and having police procedures for identifying false alarms on-site improved. He complained that police sometimes misidentify events as false alarms.

Serrano is a 20-year veteran of the security industry who started his own company, API Security Service Inc.

"If Los Angeles starts changing their laws, everybody else has to be doing the same thing," Serrano pointed out. "That's why I think it's important that the industry backs me up and gets somebody who has been in the industry." - Russ Gager, Managing Editor