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While David and I were going through the mail this evening, I discovered we had been sent a “False Alarm Bill” from the City of Los Angeles. $151.00 because I chose to be safe and call the cops when my burglar alarm went off a few weeks ago.

I understand, from a public policy standpoint, why the city creates a disincentive to calling the police. But opening the envelope and finding that notice felt like getting in trouble (You can probably guess that I haven’t “gotten in trouble” much in my life) — an authority scolding me for overreacting, for making a big deal out of nothing.

Given how much angst I had about calling the police in the first place, the fact that I also got my hand slapped makes me mad. I wasn’t frivolous. I wasn’t rash. I was alone in the dark with my son and I had no way to know whether there was an actual threat or not.

David thinks I did the right thing and he told me he hopes I would do the same thing next time. But I know that if and when I am ever in that situation again, the “False Alarm Bill” will be added to the scale on the side of Reasons Not to Call the Police.


4 responses »

  1. Sheesh…most municipalities give you a couple “grace” falses. Small price to pay though…don’t ever hesitate, is my opinion.

    Its their job to determine the real and true threat, not yours.
    The city isn’t discouraging or slapping you on the hand; they are trying to exist and in this financial climate they are trying to find ways to pay their expenses.


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