Syracuse considers charging $50 annually for security alarm systems after influx of false alarms

An influx of false alarms in Syracuse has prompted the city to rethink security alarm systems.

It's considering a proposal that would charge $50 annually to any business or individual that uses a security alarm system.

The fee would potentially impact 4,000 business owners.

When an alarm goes off, it can take police anywhere from fifteen minutes to 2 hours to respond.

Business owners and neighbors had a chance to bring their concerns before councilors this morning.

While Lisa Robel recognizes the need to hold places that have multiple false alarms accountable, she sees the potential cost adding more financial burden to an already stressful situation.

It's not so much the $50 fee, she says, but the cost of keeping up with the maintenance of the systems.

"Every additional tax and cost the city imposes on us, makes it harder for us as individuals to do things for our city, for our home," Robel, who lives on the Northside, says. "There are people who want to do things for their city but are financially constrained because of the increasingly over-heavy tax burden."

She fears making the fee mandatory would prevent community members from being proactive about crime in other ways; such as attending neighborhood watch meetings.

In 2011, there were almost 3,000 burglaries and robberies reported in Syracuse, according to the FBI